The internet is a fast acting place. This tweet appeared on Thursday:
The @AppleCard is such a fucking sexist program. My wife and I filed joint tax returns, live in a community-property state, and have been married for a long time. Yet Apple’s black box algorithm thinks I deserve 20x the credit limit she does. No appeals work.— DHH (@dhh) November 7, 2019
It was a tweet. But it got the attention of the internet and, eventually, of New York’s Department of Financial Services.
Hansson, who is the creator of web-application framework Ruby on Rails, didn’t disclose any specific income-related information for himself or his wife but said they filed joint tax returns and that his wife had a better credit score, the report said.
New York’s Department of Financial Services confirmed that an investigation was being conducted.
Next up, this tweeted reply from
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak Woz:
The same thing happened to us. I got 10x the credit limit. 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.
And, finally, this public response from Goldman Sachs:
We wanted to address some recent questions regarding Apple Card credit decision process.
With Apple Card, your account is individual to you; your credit line is yours and you establish your own direct credit history. Customers do not share a credit line under the account of a family member or another person by getting a supplemental card.
As with any other individual credit card, your application is evaluated independently. We look at an individual’s income and an individual’s creditworthiness, which includes factors like personal credit scores, how much debt you have, and how that debt has been managed. Based on these factors, it is possible for two family members to receive significantly different credit decisions.
In all cases, we have not and will not make decisions based on factors like gender.
Finally, we hear frequently from our customers that they would like to share their Apple Card with other members of their family. We are looking to enable this in the future.
- Andrew Williams, Goldman Sachs Spokesperson
Thinking about this, it could be that there’s truth to these accusations, but it could also be the case that there’s logic to these assessments that we can’t see.
But even if the latter is the case, it does seem to me that Goldman Sachs could do a much better job communicating the logic of their assessments. I suspect, given the public scrutiny, they will reevaluate their process.