New York Regulators Investigate Apple Card Over Sexism Complaints

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New York regulators are investigating Goldman Sachs’ Apple Card after a prominent software developer said the card is a “f*cking sexist program” in a Nov. 7 tweet thread.

David Heinemeier Hansson spoke out against the card and its algorithm on Twitter, saying, “The [Apple Card] is such a f*cking 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 20 [times] the credit limit she does. No appeals work.”

“Even when she pays off her ridiculously low limit in full, the card won’t approve any spending until the next billing period. Women apparently aren’t good credit risks even when they pay off the f*cking balance in advance and in full,” he continued.

New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) Superintendent Linda Lacewell retweeted the thread Heinemeier Hansson and said NYDFS would be investigating the issue.

“Financial services companies are responsible for ensuring the algorithms they use do not even unintentionally discriminate against protected groups. [NYDFS] will take a look” she tweeted on Nov. 9.

Lacewell also announced the investigation in an op-ed published Sunday to Medium, in which she further explains the decision to investigate the card. (RELATED: Disney Sued For ‘Pay Discrimination,’ Allegedly Underpaying Female Employees)

“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,” she wrote in the op-ed.

Goldman Sachs spokesperson Andrew Williams said the card’s “credit decisions” are not based on “factors like gender” in a statement, according to The New York Times.

“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,” Williams said.

Lacewell explained in her op-ed, however, that numerous people have come forward with different versions of the same complaint that the Apple Card’s algorithm discriminates by gender, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

“I’m a current Apple employee and founder of the company and the same thing happened to us (10 [times]),” he wrote Sunday on Twitter, meaning his credit limit is 10 times that of his wife “despite not having any separate assets or accounts.”

“Some say the blame is on Goldman Sachs but the way Apple is attached, they should share responsibility,” he continued.

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