Apple Card issuer investigated after viral tweet

11 Novembre, 2019, 04:54 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Gender discrimination is allegedly involved in new Apple Card algorithms used to determine credit limits

In a series of Twitter posts made by a client criticising the Apple Card for giving him a credit limit which was a whopping 20 times the amount offered his wife has sparked a probe into Goldman Sachs credit card approval practices.

It would seem to be an investigation into Goldman Sachs, which issues the card, and the statement reads: "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 viral tweets have drawn the attention of the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).

In Hansson's case, he was able to talk to Apple representatives, and it seems his wife's credit line was ultimately bumped up to be equal to his.

That barred an algorithm, like any other method of determining creditworthiness, from disparate treatment based on individual characteristics such as age, creed, race, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, among others, she added. It became available in the United States in August.

The BBC has contacted Goldman Sachs for comment. "Any algorithm, that intentionally or not results in discriminatory treatment of women or any other protected class of people violates NY law". Among those surprised at the discrepancy is Steve Wozniak who reported that he was offered ten times the limit of his wife.

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Hansson's original tweet was shared nearly 5,000 times and garnered a lot of attention, including from the New York Department of Financial Services, who have confirmed that they will be investigating to see if the algorithm is inherently gender-biased.

"The same thing happened to us", Wozniak wrote. Customers do not share a credit line under the account of a family member or another person by getting a supplemental card. Hard to get to a human for a correction though. This wasn't a satisfactory explanation for Hansson, who noted that Sachs increased the credit card limit after he put the company on blast on social media.

Apple did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on Sunday.

He said that customer service employees were unable to explain why the algorithm had designated her to be less creditworthy but had assured his wife that the bank was not discriminating against women.

The Apple Card, launched in August, is Goldman's first credit card. He said that didn't make up for the flawed algorithm used by Apple Card.

"My thread is full of accounts from women who've been declared to be worse credit risks than their husbands, despite higher credit scores or incomes", he said.

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