The hits just keep on coming for Goldman Sachs as Democratic senator and U.S. Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday said that the Apple Card “sexist” algorithm should be withdrawn if the claimed credit limit bias cannot be explained.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, also sent one across Goldman Sachs’ bow, as he announced he is investigating the recent Apple Card bias claims.
Last week, in a series of 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 reported seeing a similar disparity between his credit limit and that of his spouse.
On Saturday, the New York Department of Financial Services announced their intent to open an investigation into the matter.
“We have not and never will make decisions based on factors like gender,” Goldman Sachs Bank CEO Carey Halio said in statement on Monday. “In fact, we do not know your gender or marital status during the Apple Card application process.”
Halio told Apple Card holders to reach out to Goldman Sachs if their credit line came in below their expectations.
“If you believe that your credit line does not adequately reflect your credit history because you may be in a similar situation, we want to hear from you,” Halio said. “Based on additional information that we request, we will re-evaluate your credit line.”
Goldman’s actions aren’t enough, said Warren during an interview in an interview with Bloomberg.
“Yeah, great. So let’s just tell every woman in America, You might have been discriminated against, on an unknown algorithm, it’s on you to telephone Goldman Sachs and tell them to straighten it out,'” Warren said. “Sorry guys, that’s not how it works.”
Warren is just the latest official to voice concerns over the computer algorithms used by companies like Goldman Sachs, some of which might be producing biased results. Warren said Goldman should share information on how its algorithm was designed, and how it affects applicants.
“We’re all beginning to understand better that algorithms are only as good as the data that gets packed into them,” Warren said. “And if a lot of discriminatory data gets packed in, in other words, if that’s how the world works, and the algorithm is doing nothing but sucking out information about how the world works, then the discrimination is perpetuated.”
The Bloomberg report says Goldman has said it will introduce a new feature that allows members of a household to share an Apple Card credit line. Although that feature is a commonly included capability among competing cards, Apple Card doesn’t currently support it.
Warren has a history of speaking out against Apple and its services, accusing the Cupertino firm in the past of attempting to “Snuff out competition” and has called for the breakup of Apple and other tech firms. She has said that Apple should not be allowed to run the App Store or offer its own apps.