Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak says Apple Card Algorithm Gave Wife Lower Credit Limit

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak joined in the online debate accusing the algorithm behind the iPhone maker’s credit card of discriminating by gender, thereby fuelling scrutiny of the newly launched Apple Card. The criticism started after entrepreneur David Heinemeier Hansson railed against the Apple Card in a series of Twitter posts, saying it gave him 20 times the credit limit his wife received.

The much-anticipated titanium credit card which is basically a part of a broader effort by Apple to derive greater revenue from services after years of heavy reliance on iPhone sales was launched in August, in partnership with Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Moreover, 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.

However, Hansson who is the creator of the web-application framework Ruby on Rails did not disclose any specific income-related information for himself or his wife. But tweeted that they filed joint tax returns and that his wife had a better credit score.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak says Apple Card algorithm gave wife lower credit limit
Image Source: hindustantimes.com

Moreover, 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.

“We have no separate bank or credit card accounts or any separate assets. Hard to get to a human for a correction though. It’s big tech in 2019,” Wozniak tweeted in reply to Hansson’s original tweet. Besides, New York’s Department of Financial Services said it was beginning an inquiry into Goldman Sachs’ credit card practices.

“New York law prohibits discrimination against protected classes of individuals, which means an algorithm, as with any other method of determining creditworthiness, cannot result in disparate treatment for individuals based on age, creed, race, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, or other protected characteristics,” Linda Lacewell, the superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services, wrote in a blog post.

“We know the question of discrimination in the algorithmic decision also extends to other areas of financial services,” Lacewell added. Further, Apple partnered with Goldman Sachs Group Inc to launch the much-anticipated titanium credit card in August.


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