The New York Department of Financial Services (NY DFS) is investigating Goldman Sachs after users complained that the Apple Card’s algorithm discriminates against women in determining credit limits, Bloomberg reported on Nov. 10.
A tweet from tech entrepreneur David Heinemeier Hansson claiming that his wife received a much smaller credit limit than he did despite their equal financial status went viral earlier this week, setting off a controversy and leading to news of the probe over the weekend. (Apple Card is a joint enterprise between Apple, Mastercard, and Goldman Sachs.)
The @AppleCard is such a fucking sexist program. My wife and I filed joint tax returns, live in a community-property state, and have been married for a long time. Yet Apple’s black box algorithm thinks I deserve 20x the credit limit she does. No appeals work.
— DHH (@dhh) November 7, 2019
Hansson shared some information about his wife, who he said has a higher credit score than he does and is a US citizen while he is a green-card holder. He said they file jointly for their taxes and live in a state that follows community-property law, meaning that all assets acquired during their marriage are jointly and equally owned.
Several Twitter users shared similar experiences with the Apple Card on Twitter, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who said that he was given a credit limit ten times superior to that of his wife’s.
The same thing happened to us. I got 10x the credit limit. We have no separate bank or credit card accounts or any separate assets. Hard to get to a human for a correction though. It’s big tech in 2019.
— Steve Wozniak (@stevewoz) November 10, 2019
“Please know that Goldman Sachs will never consider sex/gender or any other prohibited bases when making credit decisions,” the bank said on Twitter. A spokesman for the bank told Bloomberg, “Our credit decisions are based on a customer’s creditworthiness and not on factors like gender, race, age, sexual orientation or any other basis prohibited by law.”
Apple wasn’t immediately available for comment.
But Hansson and others pointed out that, while institutions may have anti-discrimination policies, algorithms can discriminate nonetheless. Just last month, NY DFS announced it would look into whether the algorithm of healthcare giant UnitedHealth Group favors white patients over black patients.
Apple Card launched in August, and Goldman Sachs’ CEO David Solomon recently called it “the most successful credit card launch ever.”
For Android Mobile users Ilwareed Online has an App available on Google Play Store, with this App you can get the latest News and Political Analysis every minute.
Download Ilwareed Now.
Follow us on Twitter #ilwareed and Facebook #ilwareedonline