Apple Card accused of gender bias
Occurred: November 2019
Apple launched its new Apple Card in the USA in August 2019. Underwritten by Goldman Sachs, the card is designed to work with Apple Pay on iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, and Macs.
In November 2019, tech entrepreneur David Hansson complained on Twitter that he had been given a credit limit 20 times larger than that offered to his wife, despite her having a better credit score. He went on to accuse Goldman Sachs of gender discrimination by using algorithms to determine a person's credit limit.
Hansson's complaint was followed by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak saying that he received ten times the credit limit that his wife was offered, resulting in a volley of accusations that Apple and Goldman Sachs were 'sexist'.
In response, the New York State Department of Financial Services launched an investigation. In March 2021, the investigation concluded (pdf) that there was no evidence of 'deliberate or disparate' racial discrimination but that there were clear deficiencies in customer service and transparency.
Operator: Apple; Goldman Sachs
Developer: Apple; Goldman Sachs
Sector: Banking/financial services
Purpose: Streamline card application process
Technology: Machine learning
Issue: Bias/discrimination - gender
Transparency: Governance; Complaints/appeals; Marketing
New York State Department of Financial Services (2021). Report on Apple Card Investigation (pdf)
News, commentary, analysis
Published: March 2023