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posted by martyb on Friday November 15 2019, @06:13AM   Printer-friendly
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)


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  • (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.

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  • (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) Subscriber Badge 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]