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Apple, Goldman Sachs Under Scrutiny For Alleged Discrimination In Apple Card Algorithm

Apple, Goldman Sachs Under Scrutiny For Alleged Discrimination In Apple Card Algorithm

The New York Department of Financial Services "will take a look" into allegations regarding Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) alleged discrimination against women in their join credit card service Apple Card, the agency’s superintendent Linda A. Lacewell said on Saturday.

What Happened

The Wall Street financial regulator took notice of a series of tweets posted by technology entrepreneur David Heinemeier Hansson, where he describes that Apple granted him 20 times the credit limit than his wife in spite of her having a better credit score.

“The [Apple Card] is such a <...> 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 [twenty times] the credit limit she does. No appeals work,” Hansson, who is best known for creating web-application framework Ruby on Rails, tweeted on Saturday.

When his wife approached Apple representatives, they dismissed the possibility of gender discrimination and said that “it’s just the algorithm,” Hansson alleged.

Many other Twitter users shared similar accounts in reply to Hansson’s allegations, one of them being Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

“The same thing happened to us. I got [ten times] 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,” Wozniak replied.

What’s Next

The NYSDFS is inviting everyone who believes they have been discriminated by Apple Card to report such incidents via email.

“New York law prohibits discrimination against protected classes of individuals, which means an algorithm, as with any other method of determining creditworthiness, cannot result in disparate treatment for individuals based on age, creed, race, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, or other protected characteristics,” Lacewell said in a statement on Sunday.


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