Apple Card has caught the Internet’s attention lately with creator of Ruby on Rails David Heinemeier Hansson criticising its algorithm that is sexist.
According to Hansson, he and his wife have filed for joint tax returns and are married for a long time and his wife even has higher credit score than him, but she was only given 1/20 credit limit compared to Hansson. What made the situation more dire is when Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak chimed in the thread and revealed that he and his wife always get joint cards and had no problem with their other cards and bank accounts, but he has gotten 10 time the credit limit compared to his wife when they applied for Apple Card.
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
The situation has amplified to the point where the New York Department of Financial Services has opened an investigation to the matter. “Any algorithm, that intentionally or not results in discriminatory treatment of women or any other protected class of people violates New York law,” said the spokesperson in its statement to Bloomberg.
— GS Bank Support (@gsbanksupport) November 11, 2019
Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs, the financial services company that partnered with Apple to offer Apple Card services, has released a statement that promises that they “have not and will not make decisions based on factors like gender.” Hansson further argues that they should in fact offer full transparency in credit assessments to ensure fairness and integrity, something he believes Goldman Sachs is lacking.
I’m a current Apple employee and founder of the company and the same thing happened to us (10x) despite not having any separate assets or accounts. Some say the blame is on Goldman Sachs but the way Apple is attached, they should share responsibility.
— Steve Wozniak (@stevewoz) November 10, 2019
Apple has since raised the credit limit of Hansson’s wife to match his, but Hansson pointed out that the company still failed to address the root of the issue and remained unpleased. In a tweet posted just an hour ago, Hansson wrote pointed out that Apple should not push all the blame to Goldman Sachs. “The card is called THE APPLE CARD. Sending out GS spokespeople to deflect on their responsibility and ownership is cowardly. Do better.” Before his tweet, Wozniak himself tweeted that Apple should “share responsibility” with Goldman Sachs.
Apple has not responded yet.