Federal regulators in NY are opening up an investigation into Apple and Goldman Sachs after a series of tweets went viral accusing the two companies of gender discrimination over Apple Card credit limits.
An investigation into Goldman Sachs Group's credit card practices has begun after a tech entrepreneur's tweeted alleged gender discrimination in determining credit limits for Apple's new credit card. In a series of Twitter posts starting on Thursday, David Heinemeier Hansson railed against the Apple Card for giving him 20 times the credit limit that his wife got, Bloomberg reported on Saturday. "Apple offers a credit card that bases its credit assessment on a black-box algorithm that 6 different reps across Apple and (Goldman Sachs) have no visibility into". Steve Wozniak, an Apple co-founder, also admitted his Apple Card has a significantly larger credit limit than his wife's. It appears the regulatory agency wants to examine the Apple Card after learning of potential gender bias when issuing credit lines.
The Department of Financial Services "will be conducting an investigation to determine whether NY law was violated and ensure all consumers are treated equally regardless of sex", a department spokeswoman told Reuters in a statement.
A spokesman for Goldman Sachs, Andrew Williams, denied anything sinister was happening: "Our credit decisions are based on a customer's creditworthiness and not on factors like gender, race, age, sexual orientation or any other basis prohibited by law". The card allows you to make purchases using the Apple payment system on more favourable terms.
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.
"We have no separate bank or credit card accounts or any separate assets", Wozniak said on Twitter, in reply to Hansson's original tweet.
In an email, Goldman said Apple Card applicants were evaluated independently, according to income and creditworthiness, taking into account factors such as personal credit scores and personal debt. It's big tech in 2019.
The investigation stems from a tweet from David Heinemeier Hansson - creator of web framework Ruby on Rails.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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.
As with any other individual credit card, your application is evaluated independently.