Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak joined in the online debate over accusations of gender discrimination by the algorithm behind the newly launched Apple Card.
A Twitter thread from an Apple Card user — tech entrepreneur David Heinemeier Hansson — on Saturday detailed how his card’s credit limit was considerably higher — twenty times — than that of his wife, despite his wife having a higher credit score. Numerous Twitter users responded to David’s initial tweet, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (who indicated his credit limit is ten times higher than that of his wife), describing similar instances where men received higher credit limits than women.
“We have no separate bank or credit card accounts or any separate assets,” Wozniak said on Twitter, in reply to Hansson’s original tweet.
“Hard to get to a human for a correction though. It’s big tech in 2019.”
Apple's titanium credit card was launched in August, in partnership with Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
Consumers have little visibility into how a decision is made or why they have been rejected.
In an email, Goldman said Apple Card applicants were evaluated independently, according to income and creditworthiness, taking into account factors such as personal credit scores and personal debt.
New York’s Department of Financial Services (DFS) said it was beginning an inquiry into Goldman Sachs’ credit card practices and examine whether the algorithm used to make these credit limit decisions violates state laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex.
"New York law prohibits discrimination against protected classes of individuals," Linda Lacewell, the superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services, wrote in a blog post.
Goldman said Apple Card applicants were evaluated independently, according to income and creditworthiness, taking into account factors such as personal credit scores and personal debt.
It was possible for two family members to receive significantly different credit decisions, the bank said, but added, “We have not, and will not, make decisions based on factors like gender.”