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posted by martyb on Friday November 15 2019, @06:13AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the very-interesting dept.

A few days ago, Jamie Heinemeier Hansson went public with the observation that Apple Card gives better interest rates to husbands than to wives. Several sites have since picked up the story and now it has caught the attention of the US Senate.

I care about transparency and fairness. It's why I was deeply annoyed to be told by AppleCard representatives, "It's just the algorithm," and "It's just your credit score." I have had credit in the US far longer than David. I have never had a single late payment. I do not have any debts. David and I share all financial accounts, and my very good credit score is higher than David's. I had a career and was successful prior to meeting David, and while I am now a mother of three children — a "homemaker" is what I am forced to call myself on tax returns — I am still a millionaire who contributes greatly to my household and pays off credit in full each month. But AppleCard representatives did not want to hear any of this. I was given no explanation. No way to make my case.

From Gizmodo: Now a Senator Is Investigating the Sexist Apple Card Debacle

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.

Earlier on SN:
Maybe Don't Keep Your Apple Card in a Leather Wallet, Apple Warns (2019)
Apple Unveils... a Titanium Credit Card (2019)


Original Submission

Related Stories

Apple Unveils... a Titanium Credit Card 36 comments

Apple announces Apple Card credit card

At Apple's "show time" services event today, it announced a new Apple Card credit card, promising to improve things about the credit card experience with simpler applications, no fees, lower interest rates, and better rewards.

To get an Apple Card, users will be able to sign up on their iPhone in the Apple Wallet app and get a digital card that they can use anywhere Apple Pay is accepted "within minutes." Customers will also be able to track purchases, check balances, and see when their bill is due right from the app. There will be a physical titanium card, too, but there's no credit card number, CVV, expiration date, or signature. All of that authorization information is stored directly in the Apple Wallet app.

Apple also says that it'll use machine learning and Apple Maps to label stores that you use in the app, and use that data to track purchases across categories like "food and drink" or "shopping." [...] Like many of Apple's products, privacy is a big push here. "Apple doesn't know what you bought, where you bought it, and how much you paid for it," said Jennifer Bailey, VP of Apple Pay. All of the spending tracking and other information is stored directly on the device, not Apple's servers. The company also promises that "Goldman Sachs will never sell your data to third parties for marketing and advertising."

Other companies have offered 3-4% cash back for certain purchases.

Also at Ars Technica.

See also: Apple's 2%-cash-back credit-card rewards are interesting, but I'm convinced people are overlooking the best part
Apple's new credit card holds a lot of promise, but read the fine print before signing up
Tim Cook says Apple Card is a game changer. Experts are not so sure
Apple's move into banking raises the bar for fintech, traditional credit cards


Original Submission

Maybe Don't Keep Your Apple Card in a Leather Wallet, Apple Warns 28 comments

"Some fabrics, like leather and denim, might cause permanent discoloration that will not wash off," Apple warns card owners.

[...] The BBC rounded up a number of Tweets from early adopters confirming that the physical card might look nice when you get it, but probably not for long after. "I can say from two months of having the card in my leather wallet, it no longer looks pretty," one owner wrote.

The damage is cosmetic only; the card will still work at a point of sale if you dare to keep it in your wallet. If you would like to keep it looking new, however, Apple recommends wiping it gently with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol using a soft microfiber cloth.

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2019/08/maybe-dont-keep-your-apple-card-in-a-leather-wallet-apple-warns/


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Friday November 15 2019, @07:33AM (2 children)

    by krishnoid (1156) on Friday November 15 2019, @07:33AM (#920630)

    But AppleCard representatives did not want to hear any of this. I was given no explanation. No way to make my case.

    How about guaranteeing that you can always reach someone on the phone within five minutes, with requirements for followup, and no "unexpectedly heavy call volume" message until every employee in the company is pulling calls out of the queue?

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15 2019, @01:15PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15 2019, @01:15PM (#920680)

      Algorithm gives a better interest rate to a breadwinner instead of a stay at home mom. Feminists cry that the algorithm is sexist.

      The mystery is solved. No need to bother Apple with your complaints.

      BTW, Karen does not need to know about David's Swiss bank account.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by VLM on Friday November 15 2019, @12:33PM (4 children)

    by VLM (445) on Friday November 15 2019, @12:33PM (#920663)

    As a guy with a pretty large net worth I don't understand the mindset (beyond the usual political BS and grandstanding)

    I do not have any debts.

    I am still a millionaire

    pays off credit in full each month

    Running up a permanent debt to the limit and paying the minimum payment for the rest of their life is a poor people thing, not at all like the quotes above, not at all like my lifestyle.

    So ... why should they care what the limit is? So... I think Costco gave me several thousand as a limit but how could I possibly spend that each month and if I wanted to buy a $4K hot tub or something like that, it hasn't been 1990 in a couple years so rather than paying off the card when they send an old fashioned paper mail bill with a paper mail stamp and paper check, I'd just pay it to zero online before driving to costco and it works fine.

    To some extent people who throw money away on conspicuous consumption apple products are probably not downmarket poverty, so the whole discussion is weird. Its not like Apple wonders if someone who wastes $1K on a phone can pay their bill; its more like Apple is setting a limit based on acceptable losses when she forgets her purse at the bar or as an urbanite, gets jumped in some alley, vs some dude who is a much lower theft loss risk because his purchase history indicates he doesn't drunkenly walk down "diverse" alleyways at 2am or her loss history is worse than his loss history.

    Given that debt is pretty toxic its stupid to demand more for women. In a similar manner I DEMAND the government provide women with balls so they can experience the pain of being kicked in the balls, because everything gotta be equal.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15 2019, @03:15PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15 2019, @03:15PM (#920695)

      I am also a millionaire, but I understand that creditors (and Apple is just the face here, the real creditor is someone else) have arbitrary and capricious rules on how they will extend it. I don't recall net worth ever being a field on an application.
      Jamie, you are fortunate not to need credit. Since creditors are still free to choose what to do with their money, you can deny them your business. Credit scoring will trend to cargo cult among all banks, but you could get a card through your local bank, who may give you a fatter line because they care about your relationship.
      "Algorithmic accountability act"? If congress passes something like this to force creditors to make bad lending decisions for the optics, they will, at the cost of everyone else.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15 2019, @09:44PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15 2019, @09:44PM (#920815)

      I've applied for credit far in excess of what I will ever use. I used to not care, but when I bought a house I was hurt my local bank's credit card still being at the default 4k credit line, and having 3.5k charged to it. My other account had a 15k limit with no balance. You get penalized for "close to limit" per account, no matter if you are really maxing out your credit. So I asked for an increase.

      It's dumb, but that's the way the industry operates. You can either play the game, or tilt at windmills trying to get them to change. Personally, I got the credit I wanted, and then never applied for any more.

    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday November 16 2019, @06:40AM (1 child)

      Faulty thinking from the bean counters. Employment status matters a hell of a lot for most people's ability to pay their debts. They just didn't put enough thought into the matter to get that rich people don't necessarily share the same risk flags as poor folks.

      --
      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Saturday November 16 2019, @01:56PM

        by VLM (445) on Saturday November 16 2019, @01:56PM (#920964)

        Employment status matters a hell of a lot for most people's ability to pay their debts.

        I would tentatively agree in principle with 90% of your argument, but I think what you're aiming at and slightly missing is the old saying that lower class gets its spending money from the government, middle from sweat/labor paychecks, and upper gets their money from investment.

        Its admittedly worth pointing out that there's a lot of "10K millionaires" out there. Just 'cause you bought a $1M california house using a $999K mortgage doesn't mean you're a millionaire, although some very poor people think so, in that sense the journalist might be faking a higher economic status while actually being extremely poor. When I was a kid just graduated I got a CC with a whopping $200 credit limit, and much like the journalist I had little trouble paying it off in full every month LOL, but looking at my purchasing habits you'd think I was extremely poor. When I was at uni I always wanted a really nice new hybrid on/off road bike so when I got my first job I saved up to buy it, and then road it for hundred (thousands?) of miles on rails-to-trails conversions, but it was like $300 so I couldn't use my CC, that being over my limit, and had to withdraw money from the ATM for three days to pay in cash, LOL. Which probably looked on my credit report like I was too poor to buy a bicycle, although I actually was "wealthy" enough to pay cash rather than credit, LOL. Maybe this happened to the "wealthy" journalist.

  • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15 2019, @04:38PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15 2019, @04:38PM (#920714)

    That women's brains are wired different?
    But... now it's sexist that we point that out and use it in algorithms.
    I pay my bills in full every month, no CC debt, house paid off, cars paid off, and retired early with a nest egg. I helped a good female friend get out of debt but she immediately ran her credit cards back up to the same out of control debt she was in before. with nothing but worthless trinkets to show for it. Well... good luck working until you're 90, I'm not helping.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15 2019, @05:02PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15 2019, @05:02PM (#920721)

    I had a career and was successful prior to meeting David, and while I am now a mother of three children — a "homemaker"

    In other words you don't have a paying job so of course any loan or credit card agreement won't be as favoriable to you as somehow who does have a job. Tons of people blow through a million and end up in debt, many (most?) lottery winners in fact end up poorer than before they won. So having a large bank account shouldn't be weighted as high as a steady income.

    Prove that this common sense reason isn't the cause before screaming sex discrimination.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 16 2019, @02:13AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 16 2019, @02:13AM (#920854)

      Exactly this. What you have counts for very little on the credit score. You could be living at home with your parents for free and hold a job for years and have tons of money in the bank. It counts for *nothing* if you don't take on debt. This is the "stupid" game - and if you're excellent with money, responsible, and save up, you lose. It's geared to take advantage of the stupid - and if you are stupid and spend money you didn't earn, you're favored more than smart folks who are responsible and save up.

      • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday November 16 2019, @06:47AM

        Nah, smart people who want a good credit score intentionally take out recurring debts that they are in zero danger of not being able to pay off at the end of the month. I do not number among them. I don't give a flying fuck about my credit score because I have no desire to ever use it again.

        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15 2019, @05:50PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15 2019, @05:50PM (#920732)

    Oh, husbands & wives ... nevermind.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15 2019, @07:10PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15 2019, @07:10PM (#920767)

    I'd guess it is because women are statistically less likely to pay their debts.

    It's just like how statistically men get injured more and die earlier than women. It doesn't matter that you eat a healthy diet, exercise, and always drive the speed limit; while your female neighbor only eats sweet potatoes, considers the walk from the bedroom to the couch her daily workout, and speeds everywhere. Statistically women are less risk than men, so they get lower insurance premiums.

    I'm all for a senate inquiry about this and it should be investigated. It very well could be systemic bias or oppression. However, by the same standard, there should be inquiries into why more women are being admitted to college than men, why men's healthcare costs are higher than women's, and finding out what the actual pay gap between genders is when you factor in things like risk of leaving the company and actual job experience.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15 2019, @09:58PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15 2019, @09:58PM (#920817)

      Of course it is systemic. The ratings agencies and underwriters have identified women, blacks, foreigners, whoever as systemic risks to repayment, so anyone in that class is going to get shittier terms, no matter if they are most responsible. Like young people for car insurance. Or men for life insurance.

      Did anyone catch this linked from the Gizmoto article: "[Goldman Sachs] work with a third-party consulting firm Charles River Associates to ensure that the algorithm does not discriminate against protected classes."

      Because the AI discrimination is so obvious, they have to pass their decisions through a filter to make sure the political optics keep them on this side of being taken to court. Any government action is just going to be added to that filter.

    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Saturday November 16 2019, @02:01PM

      by VLM (445) on Saturday November 16 2019, @02:01PM (#920965)

      It doesn't matter

      Not really AC, AFAIK its because a ridiculous fraction of those killed in coal mines and ironworking and metal foundry accidents are male, and not too many of the nearly 100% female preschool teachers and strippers and real estate agents die on the job.

      There is something buried deep in the decimal places after thats corrected for which STILL requires correction in that more men experiment with recreational extreme drinking or scuba cave diving whereas women have somewhat more tame hobbies like suntanning and having sex in foreign countries or scrapbooking or putting signs on the reading "live laugh love" or WTF similar "wine aunt" nonsense, which again have a slight difference in fatality rates.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 16 2019, @06:10PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 16 2019, @06:10PM (#921017)

      Or maybe the other way around? Women are more likely to pay back or try to pay back, so you can charge them higher? :)

      If someone isn't going to ever pay you back, it doesn't matter what interest rate you charge... The interest rate only matters if they actually try to pay you back...

      From what I see (youtube, insurance, etc) women are less likely to take big dangerous risks.

      See also:
      https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11187-019-00168-3 [springer.com]

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