Elizabeth Warren chimes in on allegedly discriminatory Apple Card algorithm

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Elizabeth Warren chimes in on allegedly discriminatory Apple Card algorithm
Sen. Elizabeth Warren thinks Apple Card partner Goldman Sachs has some explaining to do.
Photo: elizabethwarren.com

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has chimed in on the allegedly sexist Apple Card debacle. Warren criticized Apple Card partner Goldman Sachs, saying that if the bank can’t explain how the algorithm used to determine credit score works, it should “pull it down.”

The complaints about Apple Card began last week when entrepreneur David Heinemeier Hansson said he was offered a credit limit 20 times that of his wife. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak claimed something similar.

“Goldman Sachs has not and will never make decisions based on factors such as gender, race, age, sexual orientation or any other legally prohibited factors when determining credit worthiness,” Goldman Sachs said in a statement. The bank said it will re-examine any cases that raised customer concerns.

However, Warren deemed this unacceptable. She said affected customers should not have to contact the bank to have the situation looked into.

Warren told Bloomberg it is Goldman’s responsibility to explain the exact impact of the algorithm it is using. “If they can’t do it, then they need to pull it down,” she said. “We are beginning to understand better that algorithms are only as good as the data that gets packed into them.”

Elizabeth Warren: Apple Card and beyond

Warren’s comments specifically call out Goldman Sachs, the financial side of the Apple Card partnership. However, others say Apple deserves a portion of the blame as well. In a post earlier this week, I argued that algorithmic bias hurts Apple.

This isn’t the first time Warren has gone after Apple. In 2016, she accused Cupertino of abusing its control of the App Store to hinder competition. More recently, she proposed breaking up tech giants, saying they “bulldozed competition.” In September, Warren tweeted that Apple has “too much power,” affixing the hashtag #BreakUpBigTech.

Source: Bloomberg