Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in an interview Wednesday knocked Goldman Sachs’s response over the alleged gender discrimination in its Apple Card algorithms.
Warren jumped in on the criticism Goldman has been receiving this week as customers have claimed women were given lower credit limits because of their gender. The Massachusetts senator said in an interview with Bloomberg Wednesday that the onus falls on the company to fix it, not the consumers.
“Yeah, great. So let’s just tell every woman in America, ‘You might have been discriminated against, on an unknown algorithm, it’s on you to telephone Goldman Sachs and tell them to straighten it out,’ ” Warren told Bloomberg. “Sorry guys, that’s not how it works.”
The presidential candidate called on Goldman Sachs to publicly explain the design and impact of the algorithm that allegedly allowed for gender discrimination.
“And if they can’t do it, then they need to pull it down,” she said.
The New York Department of Financial Services told Reuters last week it launched an investigation into Goldman. The investigation comes after leaders in the tech industry, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, posted on social media about the unequal credit limits between men and women using Apple Card.
“Goldman Sachs has not and will never make decisions based on factors like gender, race, age, sexual orientation or any other legally prohibited factors when determining credit worthiness,” a spokesman for the firm told Bloomberg. “For credit decisions we make, we can identify which factors from an individual’s credit report contribute to the outcome. We welcome a discussion of this topic with policymakers and regulators.”
Goldman Sachs posted a statement on Twitter Monday saying the company may re-evaluate consumers’ credit lines if they contact the firm.
— GS Bank Support (@gsbanksupport) November 11, 2019
The company announced Wednesday in response to the controversy that it will allow households to share accounts after some argued family members could get very different credit limits without this feature, according to Bloomberg.
Debates have ensued over whether algorithms in consumer finance can inadvertently maintain race and gender bias, even without that data on consumers.