A major bank is being investigated following allegations that the algorithms it uses to set credit limits for the Apple Card are sexist.
The investigation against Goldman Sachs comes after a tech entrepreneur claimed he was offered a credit limit that was 20 times higher than his wife’s – even though she has a higher credit score.
David Heinemeier Hansson accused the Apple Card algorithms of being “sexist”, and said they had an “infuriating” experience with customer services because they were unable to appeal the decision.
After writing a viral Twitter thread about his experience, Hansson said his wife’s credit limit was increased without any request for additional documentation.
New York’s Department for Financial Services has now confirmed that an investigation is being conducted “to determine whether New York law was violated and ensure all customers are treated equally regardless of sex”.
A spokeswoman added: “Any algorithm that intentionally or not results in discriminatory treatment of women or any other protected class violates New York law.”
Andrew Williams, a Goldman Sachs spokesman, declined to comment on whether Hansson had contacted the investment bank regarding the allegations.
However, he told Bloomberg: “Our credit decisions are based on a customer’s creditworthiness and not on factors like gender, race, age, sexual orientation or any other basis prohibited by law.”
The Apple Card launched in the US in August, and it was built in partnership with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard.
This is not the first investigation that New York regulators have launched into a potentially discriminatory algorithm.
Last month, officials began scrutinising an algorithm that allegedly underestimated the health needs of black patients.