Apple Card and Goldman Sachs Under Investigation Following Allegations of Gender Bias

Posted on November 11, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Apple with 24 Comments

Apple Card and Goldman Sachs are under investigation by the New York Department of Financial Services. The investigation comes shortly after allegations of the Apple Card’s gender bias against women.

The issue was first brought up by Ruby on Rails creator David Heinemeier Hansson on Twitter, who faced the exact same issue with the Apple Card. He and his wife have filed joined tax returns and despite her having a better credit score than him, Apple Card gave him 20x the credit limit than his wife.

Apple was quick to address the problem as soon it became a PR issue, giving Hansson’s wife a higher credit limit. But that didn’t stop the New York Department of Financial Services launching a probe into Goldman Sachs’s credit card practices as it’s the provider for the credit on the Apple Card.

“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. Any algorithm, that intentionally or not results in discriminatory treatment of women or any other protected class of people violates New York law,” said a spokesman for Linda Lacewell, the superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services.

According to Bloomberg, a Goldman Sachs spokesperson said that it’s possible for two Apple Card family members to receive significantly different credit limits, but “in all cases, we have not and will not make decisions based on factors like gender.”

That’s obviously not what has happened here, and Goldman Sachs is now facing investigation for a potential gender bias on its algorithms. And has Hansson said, “it’s not a gender-discrimination intent but it is a gender-discrimination outcome” which is the main problem in this case.

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