The newly launched Apple Card receives further blow as Steve Wozniak, the company’s co-founder joins the online debate over gender discrimination by the algorithm behind the card.
The debate started earlier this week after a tweet from entrepreneur David Heinemeier Hansson about how Apple Card algorithm gave him 20 times credit limit than his wife despite filing the taxes together and having similar financial assets. Hanson is the creator of the web application framework Ruby on Rails. The tweet did not reveal any particular financial data about the family but shared some facts such as his wife has a better credit score than him.
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
The tweet which received more than 17k likes and 6.5 k retweets got several people to start sharing their similar experiences Including the company’s co-founder Wozniak. Wozniak on a reply to the original tweet shared his experience where he received 10x credit than his wife despite having no separate bank or credit card account and assets. He also complained about how hard it is to get through to a human for correction and compliance now in the days of ‘big tech’.
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.
— Steve Wozniak (@stevewoz) November 10, 2019
Apple Card, the company’s latest effort to generate more revenue after years of severe dependency on iPhone sales for revenue, is a joint venture between Apple, Master Card and Goldman Sachs.
The Banks Spokesperson explained that different family members can get significantly different credit as it is decided by various factors such as Personal debt, assets, history, but added: “In all cases, we have not and will not make decisions based on factors like gender.”
But Hansson said that the statement doesn’t explain what happened afterward “As soon as this became a PR issue, they immediately bumped up her credit limit without asking for any additional documentation” he said in an interview. He explained that the company might have an andy discrimination policy but that doesn’t mean that the algorithm itself is perfect and there might be flaws in it.
He even continued the thread with cheeky sarcastic tweet.
I’m surprised that they even let her apply for a card without the signed approval of her spouse? I mean, can you really trust women with a credit card these days??!
— DHH (@dhh) November 7, 2019
Wallstreet is considering a probe into the matter.“ The department will be conducting an investigation to determine whether New York law was violated and ensure all consumers are treated equally regardless of sex,” said a spokesman for Linda Lacewell, the superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services. “Any algorithm, that intentionally or not results in discriminatory treatment of women or any other protected class of people violates New York law.”
Image Courtesy: Business Insider