Is Apple partner Goldman Sachs’ algorithm used to determine Apple Card creditworthiness gender-biased? That’s the claim from some on Twitter – a serious enough issue to merit an investigation of the New York state Department of Financial Services (DFS). Goldman Sachs denies it, and the company CEO encourages couples that suspect they’ve been treated unfairly to get in touch.
This started when Ruby on Rails creator David Heinemeier Hansson complained on Twitter after he received a 20x higher credit line than his wife, a similar problem recounted later by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and a few others. Goldman Sachs customer service personnel corrected the issue later but were unable to explain the discrepancy, leading Hansson to complain about the company’s absence of transparency due to the “black-box algorithm” used to determine such factors.
This got the attention of the New York state Department of Financial Services (NY DFS), the powerful state government agency responsible for regulating financial services and products in the insurance, banking, and financial services markets, including Wall Street. NY DFS Superintendent Linda A. Lacewell said they’d investigate the claims to see if the Apple Card algorithm promoted unlawful discrimination.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Goldman Sachs CEO Carey Halio said that the company doesn’t know gender or marital status when someone applies for the card, but suggested that some applicants may receive more limited credit because their cards are “suppemental cards under their spouse’s primary account,” and may have more limited credit history.
If you believe that your credit line does not adequately reflect your credit history because you may be in a similar situation, we want to hear from you. Based on additional information we may request, we will re-evaluate your credit line.
Have you been affected by this issue? Were you able to resolve it with Goldman Sachs? Or does this give you pause before considering applying for the Apple Card? Let us know in the comments.