Goldman Sachs distributes large amounts of money to Apple Card applicants, but the financial services company might need to take another look at its algorithm.
The New York State Department of Financial Services has launched a probe into the joint venture between Apple and Goldman Sachs. It appears the regulatory agency wants to examine the Apple Card after learning of potential gender bias when issuing credit lines.
In a series of tweets, David Heinemeier Hansson exposed the potential gender bias. Both Heinemeier and his wife applied for the Apple Card at the same time, but he received 20 times the credit limit. Hansson noted that, despite being married for several years and sharing assets, Goldman Sachs neglected to match their credit limits. Further, he couldn’t appeal the decision.
Hansson, by the way, created the popular Ruby on Rails web framework.
The tweets continued with criticism directed at the Apple Card’s customer support. Hansson attempted to question representatives, but they wouldn’t discuss credit assessment and what goes into the final calculation.
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
It didn’t stop there, however. Steve Wozniak, an Apple co-founder, also admitted his Apple Card has a significantly larger credit limit than his wife’s. Now, there’s a probe to figure out whether Goldman Sachs is engaging in gender bias as applications for the Apple Card are submitted.
“The department will be conducting an investigation to determine whether New York law was violated and ensure all consumers are treated equally regardless of sex,” a New York State Department of Financial Services spokesperson told Bloomberg. “Any algorithm, that intentionally or not results in discriminatory treatment of women or any other protected class of people violates New York law.
Goldman Sachs has responded, too. “Our credit decisions are based on a customer’s creditworthiness and not on factors like gender, race, age, sexual orientation or any other bias prohibited by law,” the statement read.
As the tweets circulated online, Goldman Sachs decided to raise Hansson’s wife’s credit limit. He suspects it turned out to be a public relations issue that neither Goldman Sachs nor Apple wanted to deal with any longer. Hansson still believes it’s an algorithm, not “some nefarious person,” engaging in gender bias.
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