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Apple Card under investigation for discrimination against women

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Published on Nov 11, 2019

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Apple Card under investigation for discrimination against women

The Apple Card is examined by the financial regulators after customers have complained about the fact that the algorithms of the loan of the paper have discriminated against women.

The complaints started when the software developer David Heinemeier Hansson has complained on Twitter that the line of credit from the Apple Card was about 20 times higher than that offered to the spouse.

“The @AppleCard is a fucking program sexist,” she wrote Hansson. “My wife and I we have presented income statements of the joint, we live in a community property and we have been married for a long time. However, the algorithm of the black box of Apple thinks that I deserve 20 times more credit limit.”

Hansson has stated that the customer service of Apple has responded quickly to their complaints and in the end it intervened to increase the credit limit of his wife as a answer one-time, but the same representatives have reported not being able to do anything to change the decision of the algorithm.

Apple has handed the customer experience and their reputation as an inclusive organization over to a biased, sexist algorithm it does not understand, cannot reason with, and is unable to control. When a trillion-dollar company simply accepts the algorithmic overlord like this...

— DHH (@dhh) November 8, 2019

After complaints Hansson became viral, other customers of the Apple Card have reported similar incidents. The co-founder of Apple Steve Wozniak was among them, saying that he had been granted a credit limit with a ten times greater to his wife. Wozniak has called on the government to investigate the operation of such algorithms, according to experts, are often discriminatory.

“We don't have transparency on the way in which these companies create and manage these things,” said Wozniak in an interview. “Of course, Algos has flaws ... A huge number of people would say:” we love our technology but we no longer have control. “I think it is so.”

The same thing happened to us. I got 10x the credit limit. We have no separate bank or credit card accounts, or any separate assets. Hard to get to a human for a correction though. It's big tech in 2019.

— Steve Wozniak (@stevewoz) November 10, 2019

In response to complaints, the Department of financial services of the State of New York (DFS) said it would investigate the card, which is issued by the banking giant Goldman Sachs.

“Any algorithm that cause intentionally or not a discriminatory treatment of women or any other protected class violates the law of New York,” said a spokesman for the agency in the New York Times. “DFS is worried about to know the potential discriminatory treatment in relation to decisions on credit limits taken according to an algorithm of the Apple Card, issued by Goldman Sachs, and the Department will conduct an investigation to determine whether the New York law has been violated and to ensure to all consumers of be treated in the same way regardless of sex. “

In a statement, Goldman Sachs denied that its algorithms discriminassero in this way, women.

These claims feed the growing public awareness of the algorithms that are discriminatory, that are taking more and more decisions in areas like healthcare, recruitment and homes. Companies and government agencies often introduce such automated systems to reduce costs and manage complex data sets, but for years, experts have warned that such algorithms are opaque and unregulated, which encode the thought sexist and racist in a software irresponsible.

 

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