One prominent software developer’s viral Twitter thread, several Steve Wozniak tweets, one New York State probe, two corporate press releases, and approximately 144 hours later, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore) has tweeted that he, too, will be investigating the crapshoot mystery of Goldman Sach’s allegedly sexist algorithm behind the Apple Card.
Responding to several allegations that husbands tend to received higher credit limits than their wives, Goldman Sachs representatives have repeatedly stated to Gizmodo and other outlets that the company is blind to gender, race, marital status, and familial relationships.
They surmise that the wives in question had perhaps been banking as secondary cardholders under their husbands’ accounts, ergot, they would not have accrued as long of a debt payment history. But you can certainly take it up with customer service.
Wyden, the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, seems to have noticed the story from a New York Times report:
I’m investigating whether these allegations are true. If they are, I expect Apple and Goldman Sachs to do everything in their power to put an end to discrimination.
— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) November 13, 2019
Wyden has lately taken up the bailiwick in fighting algorithmic bias. In April, he and Senator Corey Booker introduced the Algorithmic Accountability Act, which would obligate companies to assess their decision-making systems and training data “for impacts on accuracy, fairness, bias, discrimination, privacy and security.” The bill has yet to move forward.
It’s been a wild ride since Thursday.
Gizmodo has reached out to Senator Ron Wyden’s office and will update the post if we hear back. Apple is apparently not taking questions at this time, but we’ll let you know if we get through.