Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Apple Card is facing accusations of sexism based on anecdotal evidence from David and Jamie Heinemeier Hansson, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, and countless other individuals on Twitter.

Where it stands: They allege that that wives were given lower credit limits than their husbands, even when they had the same income and even when the wife had a higher credit score.

  • That wouldn't be surprising, given that the underwriting algorithm was almost certainly written by men who may garner unconscious biases. While such biases can't be overcome or eradicated, but they can be identified and addressed early on in the development process.
  • As seen in auto insurance, discrimination against women is not hard to find in financial services.
  • New York's Department of Financial Services is now investigating the issue, which has already provided grist for Sen. Elizabeth Warren on the campaign trail.

The other side: Goldman Sachs, which runs the underwriting and issues the credit for the Apple Card, told Axios' Dan Primack yesterday that the consulting firm Charles River Associates (CRA) signed off on the card even before it was launched. CRA certified that there was no “unintended bias coming out of the decision engine,” according to Goldman’s consumer bank CEO Carey Halio.

  • CRA has not responded to a request for comment.

The big picture: Wall Street in general, and Goldman Sachs in particular, is notoriously secretive when it comes to proprietary algorithms. But Apple, if anything, is even more secretive.

"It’s unaccountable and opaque, and Apple doesn’t really care. We should demand that they do better than that. We should demand accountability on the part of anybody who’s using an algorithm like that."
— Data scientist Cathy O'Neil, talking to Slate's Aaron Mak

Go deeper: Dan's podcast with David Heinemeier Hansson is excellent. Also worth reading: Dieter Bohn's essay at The Verge on how "Apple owns every mistake Goldman Sachs makes with its card."

Go deeper

Updated 31 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 30,911,999 — Total deaths: 959,059— Total recoveries: 21,147,903Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30p.m. ET: 6,796,384 — Total deaths: 199,474 — Total recoveries: 2,590,671 — Total tests: 95,108,559Map.
  3. Politics: Testing czar on Trump's CDC contradictions: "Everybody is right" Ex-FDA chief: Career scientists won't be "easily cowed" by political vaccine pressure.
  4. Education: What we overlooked in the switch to remote learning.
  5. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19 — 7 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  6. World: England sets £10,000 fine for breaking self-isolation rules — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.

Arrest over letter to Trump containing poison ricin

President Trump returning to the White House from Minnesota on Sept. 18. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A suspect was arrested for allegedly "sending a suspicious letter" after law enforcement agents intercepted an envelope addressed to President Trump containing the poison ricin, the FBI confirmed in an emailed statement to Axios Sunday.

Details: The suspect, a woman, was arrested while trying to enter New York from Canada, law enforcement forces said.

Trump campaign goes all in on Pennsylvania

Trump poster in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The president's campaign is placing more importance on Pennsylvania amid growing concern that his chances of clinching Wisconsin are slipping, Trump campaign sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: Pennsylvania, which has 20 electoral votes, twice Wisconsin's number, actually has been trending higher in recent public and internal polling, a welcome development for the campaign.