Apple’s co-founder Steve “Woz” Wozniak is one of a number of Apple Card owners concerned about a possible sexist algorithm used for determining credit limits.
On Twitter, Woz said that he received 10x more credit on the card than his wife. “We have no separate bank or credit card accounts or any separate assets,” Wozniak clarified. “Hard to get to a human for a correction though. It’s big tech in 2019.”
Woz is the latest — and, given his position as Apple co-founder, arguably the most damning — person to speak out about Apple Card gender discrimination accusations. In a tweet thread, Woz said that had not experienced similar discrepancy when using other credit cards.
I’m a current Apple employee and founder of the company and the same thing happened to us (10x) 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.
— Steve Wozniak (@stevewoz) November 10, 2019
The issues were first voiced late last week. That’s when entrepreneur David Heinemeier Hansson noted that he had received 20x the credit limit of his wife. He tweeted that he and his wife filed joint tax returns.
Woz isn’t the only person to criticize Apple Card
Apple Card partner Goldman Sachs says that Apple Card applicants are all evaluated on a separate basis. As well as income and creditworthiness, it also considers personal credit scores and personal debt. “We have not, and will not, make decisions based on factors like gender,” the bank said.
Apple seriously misjudged the risk to its brand by getting into the credit business. When you tell someone they’re not eligible for credit, you’re literally telling them they’re “not worthy”. That’s going to suck in all cases, but when they’re then also wrong, hell’s fury comes.
— DHH (@dhh) November 11, 2019
New York’s Department of Financial Services is beginning an inquiry into Goldman Sachs’ credit card practices. Laws stop algorithms from determining treatment based on things like age, creed, race, color, sex, sexual orientation, and more.
The problem of algorithmic bias is one that has been increasingly widespread in recent years. For more on this topic, I’d recommend checking out Algorithms of Oppression, a book by University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg School of Communication faculty member Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble.