The world should work in such a way that a few tweets and a couple of blog posts could start an investigation. Maybe we could find out what happened to Hillary’s email. Maybe we could get a look at President Trump’s taxes. Maybe we could get Apple to up our Apple Card Credit Limit.
Politicians, well, at least one politician, has shown the world that tweets matter, and now it looks as if tweets from famous people carry more weight than tweets from your mom.
How did this mess get started?
Apple teamed up with big banker Goldman Sachs and introduced Apple Card. A few million iPhone customers applied online and the card became a hit. A few customers were astounded that a co-equal human being with the same address and similar credit score could get a much lower– or– much higher credit limit.
A few tweets on the subject were enough to have the feds begin an investigation and both Apple and Goldman Sachs responded with, “We didn’t do it! Blame it on those algorithms someone gave us!” Well, not exactly those words, but you get the idea.
Some of our customers have told us they received lower credit lines than they expected. In many cases, this is because their existing credit cards are supplemental cards under their spouse’s primary account — which may result in the applicant having limited personal credit history. Apple Card’s credit decision process is not aware of your marital status at the time of the application.
One techie grumbled that his Apple Card credit limit was 20x his wife’s limit. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak grumbled that he and his wife received different credit limits, too.
Goldman Sachs says they never collect data on marital status, employment status, gender, parenthood, either. They even hired a third-party firm to ensure there was no discrimination.
There was. So, who gets the blame?
Is Apple to blame? Probably not, or, if so, only for getting into bed with Goldman Sachs.
Look, data is quirky at best, and all these companies buy and sell data like candy and iPhone cables so it wouldn’t take much to distort an algorithmic result that pissed somebody off. A friend of mine has a lower credit score but a much higher credit limit.
Maybe I can fix it by tweeting that Apple is discriminating against the otherwise higher credit score people with red hair and freckles. I’m sure that is a determining factor.