Goldman Sachs has responded to accusations of possible gender bias in the algorithms used by the financial firm to determine credit limits for the Apple Card. The company says all scores are individually calculated.
The company denies any gender bias, in a statement via their @gsbanksupport Twitter account.
— GS Bank Support (@gsbanksupport) November 11, 2019
In the tweet, Goldman Sachs acknowledged the concerns, but stated all credit decisions are completely independent of gender. The company says al decisions are based on previous debt, current income and similar data.
“Based on these factors,” says the statement, “it is possible for two family members to receive significantly different credit decisions. In all cases, we have not and will not make decisions based on factors like gender”.
Last week, in a series of profane tweets, Ruby on Rails creator David Heinemeier Hansson alleged that credit decisions for the Goldman Sachs-issued Apple Card were gender-biased against women, due to the huge disparity in his credit limit and that of his wife.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak reports seeing a similar disparity between his credit limit and that of his spouse.
Hanson said that after sharing the story on Twitter, it then “became a PR issue,” and his wife’s credit limit was increased.
“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. “My belief isn’t there was some nefarious person wanting to discriminate. But that doesn’t matter. How do you know there isn’t an issue with the machine-learning algo when no one can explain how this decision was made?”
Apple’s Apple Card debuted on August 20 in cooperation with Goldman Sachs. The card is designed primarily to be used with Apple Pay on the iPhone, Apple Watch, and Mac, but also includes a physical card for use where Apple Pay is not yet accepted.