Last night, Goldman Sachs issued a second statement which mildly refers to the algorithmic voodoo behind the Apple Card's alleged discriminatory credit rating decisions, claiming that the banking giant "[has] will not and never will Make decisions based on factors such as gender. "
The company again secured the theory that women (believed to be married women) have lower credit limits than their partners because they have been additional account holders under the spouses' name and, therefore, have not accrued the same personal credit history.
"Some of our customers have told us that they received lower lines of credit than they expected," the statement reads. " In many cases, this is because their existing credit cards are additional cards under the spouse's primary account ̵
Goldman Sachs has encrypted to justify credit rating provisions in its Apple Card approval process after software engineer David Heinemeier H ansson claimed in a viral Twitter thread that Apple assigned him a credit limit 20 times higher than his wife. Among many commentators with similar stories Apple founder Steve Wozniak tiled in states that he and his wife, with whom he shares all accounts and assets – "economically we are EN in every way," he tweeted – received very different credit limits. Nearly overnight, the New York State Department of Financial Services announced an investigation.
It took two wealthy and high-profile men to get the Department of Financial Services attention, did not escape the main topic of the thread itself, Jamie Heinemeier Hansson. Hansson, who identifies himself as a millionaire, wrote in a blog post that while she is an extremely private person and "a little deadly" to see her name in the news, she is glad that the episode at least did regulators sit up and pay attention to discriminatory banking. “… I hear the frustration of women and minorities who have already hit this drum loud and public for years without this level of attention. I didn't want to be the theme that sparked these fires, but I'm glad they're burning. "(Again, we're not not surprised : Gizmodo's Victoria Song has heard from many readers reporting mysterious discrepancies in credit limits and interest rates.
Hansson adds that her credit in the United States is" far longer "than her husband, that she never paid too late, that her credit score is higher, she has had a successful career before their relationship, and pays credit in full on a monthly basis. She says that she and David share all financial accounts – what sets her apart is her status as "homeowner."
A Goldman Sachs spokesman told Gizmodo on Tuesday that the bank never at any time, before or after issuing an Apple card, collects employment status, marital status, gender or whether the customer has children. They assured Gizmodo that they are partnering with a third-party consulting firm Charles River Associates to ensure that the algorithm does not discriminate against protected classes. Charles River Associates was not immediately available for comment.
That may be completely true, but algorithms work on garbage data and implicit bias from the institutions that build them (and Goldman Sachs does not have a strong track record of taking allegations of gender discrimination seriously). A comprehensive report from the Brookings Institute provides many examples of bad data seizing the algorithms : Amazon's algorithm filtered out CVs containing the word "women", based on a dataset primarily from whites men; Harvard researcher Latanya Sweeney found that an algorithm targeted ads for an arrest records services for people of African-American names; ProPublica uncovered an algorithm that judges used to assign a "risk score" to potential repeat offenders, typically giving African Americans higher risk scores than white counterparts who were equally "risky" offenders.
A representative from Goldman Sachs claimed to be unaware of what data, if any, Apple shares with Goldman Sachs, but pointed us to a FAQ sheet which only states that the bank does not share information such as S ocial S ecurity numbers, account balances, transactions, purchase history, transaction history, and payment history with unaffiliated companies (including Apple) – but this is only valid after the card is approved.
Apple remains conspicuously silent. We will update the post if we hear back from the company.