Apple co-founder Woz says Apple Card algorithm gave his wife a lower credit limit

Reuters reports:

Apple Inc co-founder Steve Wozniak joined in the online debate over accusations of gender discrimination by the algorithm behind the iPhone maker’s credit card, fueling scrutiny of the newly launched Apple Card.

The criticism started on Thursday, after entrepreneur David Heinemeier Hansson railed against the Apple Card in a series of Twitter posts, saying it gave him 20 times the credit limit his wife received.

In an email, Goldman said Apple Card applicants were evaluated independently, according to income and creditworthiness, taking into account factors such as personal credit scores and personal debt. It was possible for two family members to receive significantly different credit decisions, the bank said, but added, “We have not, and will not, make decisions based on factors like gender.”

Hansson, who is the creator of web-application framework Ruby on Rails, did not disclose any specific income-related information for himself or his wife but tweeted that they filed joint tax returns and that his wife had a better credit score. On Saturday, Wozniak chimed in with a similar experience, saying he got 10 times more credit on the card, compared with his wife.

MacDailyNews Take: There could be other factors going into the decision than just gender. Individual income, for example.

If it is something wrong in the the black box that can be repeated along gender lines, then along with Goldman Sachs, Apple, of course, will have to share in the blame for whatever’s going on in the black box that only the black box seems to know.

12 Comments

  1. Did the male of the family apply first? If so, perhaps the lion’s share of the family credit was assigned already when the female of the family applied? You don’t get double the credit with the same family assets just because you are two people. However, if the female applied first with the same assets and then the male received a larger limit afterwards, that would indicate a problem.

    1. I am not a banker. But if all assets are shared, then why would there be separate lines of credit at all? I’d go with “I’m sorry, your assets already have a line of credit with us. Would you like to add your name to it?”

        1. I see. So in that case, yeah it doesn’t seem like “community property” means that two people can borrow twice what one person can borrow. Again, if I’ve already extended a line of credit to someone else against your assets, then it would be unwise for me to extend that amount AGAIN to you, with the same assets & income behind it. Maybe?

          I am not a banker.

  2. Ummm.. one’s joint tax returns have nothing to do with credit. It’s one’s designation with credit bureaus based on past performance, etc…. if a husband puts everything under his social and adds the wife, then she will not be building credit with payments as her social was not involved. If she does not have credit, or very little credit history, then she will be classified as a higher risk. Everyone needs to stop playing the gender whatever card. Also, remember, there are not genders anymore, so it can’t be because she’s female, because it doesn’t exist anymore…………..

  3. Lets have Woz and is wife post all of their credit scores from all reporting agencies, and of the are all largely the same. then there might be a problem, However I suspect if that happened, we’d all see why they got different levels of credit

    The bottomline is, “who cares”, is this one of those mine is bigger then your’s arguments turned into sexism… Some people really need to grow up, its a credit card, Not one’s over inflated ego.

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