Apple Card under probe for gender discrimination in credit limits

Jennifer Bailey vice president of Apple Pay speaks about the Apple Card

"DFS is troubled to learn of potential discriminatory treatment in regards to credit limit decisions reportedly made by an algorithm of Apple Card, issued by Goldman Sachs, and the Department will be conducting an investigation to determine whether NY law was violated and ensure all consumers are treated equally regardless of sex", the statement said.

The row was initially sparked after tech entrepreneur David Heinemeier Hansson complained on Twitter that he had been given twenty times the credit limit of his wife when applying for the metal card.

Earlier, in his series of tweets, Hansson said: "Apple offers a credit card that bases its credit assessment on a black-box algorithm".

He tweeted a series of messages recounting fruitless chats with Apple customer service agents, who were unable to explain the disparity but blamed it on the algorithm that determines an applicant's credit-worthiness. Yet Apple's black box algorithm thinks I deserve 20x the credit limit she does.

The Apple Card, launched in August, is Goldman's first credit card.

The Department of Financial Services "will be conducting an investigation to determine whether NY law was violated and ensure all consumers are treated equally regardless of sex", a department spokeswoman told Reuters in a statement.

"Any algorithm that intentionally or not results in discriminatory treatment of women or any other protected class violates NY law", an agency spokeswoman said in a statement Saturday night.

When Apple Card finally raised her credit limit without addressing the scoring system, he tweeted, it was essentially trying to "bribe one loud mouth on Twitter, then we don't have to actually examine our faulty faith in THE ALGORITHM".

The iPhone maker markets Apple Card on its website as a "new kind of credit card, created by Apple, not a bank".

On Saturday, Wozniak chimed in with a similar experience, saying he got 10 times more credit on the card, compared with his wife.

Hansson, who is the creator of web-application framework Ruby on Rails, didn't disclose any specific income-related information for himself or his wife but said they filed joint tax returns and that his wife had a better credit score, the report said. It's big tech in 2019.

Goldman Sachs is being investigated for possible sex discrimination in the way it sets credit limits on the Apple Card.

Apple did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on Sunday. He added that the bank could not comment on decisions about individual customers. He said that didn't make up for the flawed algorithm used by Apple Card.



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