Published: Wed, November 13, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Apple Card faces investigation over sexist credit limit claims

Apple Card faces investigation over sexist credit limit claims

He went on to call Apple Card's customer service "infuriating", saying there was no ability to discuss the credit assessment process or provide evidence.

The card, a partnership between Apple and Goldman Sachs, made its debut in the United States in August.

When he pointed this out to Apple, his wife's limit was suddenly raised.

In many ways, it's just another credit card.

This controversy has led to the New York State Department of Financial Services announcing that it would be investigating the algorithm used by Apple Card which determines the credit limit for a person.

Linda Lacewell, superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services, said in a post Sunday on Medium that she "would examine whether the algorithm used to make these credit limit decisions violates state laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex".

Lacewell said that NY supports innovation but "new technologies can not leave certain consumers behind or entrench discrimination".

The investigation was launched in response to a series of Twitter posts from David Heinemeier Hansson that railed against the Apple Card for giving him 20 times the credit limit that his wife got.

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Apple did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment and has yet to publicly respond to the claims of gender discrimination.

Goldman Sachs made a statement on Twitter that "As with any other individual credit card, your application is evaluated independently", noting that individual income, credit scores, existing debt, and debt management factor into the approval process.

Making matters worse for Apple, the company's co-founder also chimed in with a similar experience.

Traditional lenders are increasing their use of machines to decide who gets how much credit as part of a strategy to reduce costs and boost loan applications. We have no separate bank or credit card accounts or any separate assets.

To which Steve Wozniak replied: "A human manager at a rather low level should have the authorisation to correct your situation. It's big tech in 2019". He is an author and decorated race auto driver on the Le Mans circuit, according to a biography on his website. Wozniak said that his credit limit was 10 times higher than what his wife had, even though they did not have any separate assets or accounts.

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.

Apple and Goldman Sachs are now involved in a controversy for giving a lower credit score to females.

On Friday, David Heinemeier Hansson, a prominent technology entrepreneur, complained to his 355,000 Twitter followers that the Apple Card is "such a fucking sexist program" because its "black box algorithm thinks I deserve 20x the credit limit she [his wife] does". Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is running for the Democratic nomination to challenge US President Donald Trump in the 2020 election, told federal regulators in June that the government "will have to take action to ensure that anti-discrimination laws keep up with innovation".

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