‘Sexist’ credit card drags Apple into investigation

A latest investigation carried out by a US financial regulator throws light on different credit limits for men and women offered by Apple’s credit card.

The news drew complaints including those from Apple’s co-founder, Steve Wozniak, who stated that the algorithms used in order to set limits were inherently biased against women.

Sources further allege, New York’s Department of Financial Services (DFS) contacted Goldman Sachs which is known to run the Apple Card. Furthermore, the DFS said that any discrimination whether intentional or otherwise “violates New York law.”

The DFS further also announced in a statement that it will carry out an investigation in order to determine New York law had been violated, in addition to ensuring that all consumers were treated equally regardless of gender.

“Any algorithm that intentionally or not results in discriminatory treatment of women or any other protected class violates New York law,” according to DFS.

Based on a statement with regards to the report, tech entrepreneur, David Heinemeier Hansson said the Apple Card had charged 20 times more credit limit to him as compared to his wife. He further added that the increased score was despite his wife having more credit score than him.

Similar incidence was also tweeted by Wozniak, the founder of Apple along with Steve Jobs, who also claimed the credit limit for him was more than that of his wife, although they did not have separate bank accounts or separate assets.

In reference to the episode, Hansson drew attention to the discrimination which can also be brought about by algorithms and not just by people.

The creator of programming tool Ruby on Rails wrote in a tweet; “Apple Card is a sexist program. It does not matter what the intent of individual Apple reps are, it matters what THE ALGORITHM they’ve placed their complete faith in does. And what it does is discriminate.”

Launched in August, the Apple Card is the first credit card by Goldman Sachs. The card has been endorsed by Apple under the tagline, a “new kind of credit card, created by Apple, not a bank”.