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Last Week Online #45 – Could the Apple Card be sexist? Soon we will know.

Anna Loverus
Anna Loverus
2 min read

Can you really launch a product without the features figured out? Google just did.

Apple Card might use sexist AI to determine spending limits

The Apple Card, a partnership between Apple, Goldman Sachs and Mastercard, launched in the United States in August. Now, several people are reporting that women are receiving less credit than their spouses who share their income and have the same – or worse – credit score.

The algorithm used is developed by Goldman Sachs, and their credit review process is now being labelled sexist by Elizabeth Warren and several high-power tech executives. When getting questions from the media Apple blamed Goldman Sachs, and Goldman Sachs blamed an algorithm.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak added some spice to the discussion when he declared that he can borrow ten times as much as his wife on their Apple Cards even though they file taxes jointly and have the same credit score.

So far, there is no evidence that the algorithm is sexist, beyond anecdotes. It could only be that the consumption patterns differ between women and men, for instance, women tend to have more credit cards open. But the reported findings have gotten New York State regulators to open an investigation, so soon we will know.

Facebook and Google both reach for a pice of the banking pie

Google will begin to offer a "smart checking" account next year, teaming up with two banks, Citigroup and the Stanford Federal Credit Union. However, none of the involved partners seems to know what features the "smart checking" account will consist of.

Also, Facebook just launched its new feature Pay, that will let you send money to friends, shop for goods, or even donate to fundraisers, across Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. Previously, Facebook had a service called Payments that worked only with Messenger. The new solution still must be set up for each app individually, so signing up for Facebook Pay on Instagram won't automatically setup Facebook pay for WhatsApp too.

Although Facebook Pay arrives as Facebook works to approve its new digital cryptocurrency called Libra, the company says Facebook Pay is a separate project. However, Facebook will for sure want people to use Libra for payments in the future.

Twitter still not sure on how to define "political ads"

Twitter's new political ad ban, announced by CEO Jack Dorsey in October, is taking effect on November 22nd. But the company is still struggling on deciding what constitutes a political ad. Twitter executives have met with public relations and free speech groups in Washington to discuss the topic.

From next week, you won't be able to advertise on content related to political parties, candidates, government officials, legislation, and more. The policy effectively bans campaigns and candidates from advertising on Twitter.

But the new regulation also covers "cause-based advertising", which is more of a grey zone. Topics like climate change or abortion will be restricted rather than banned completely, and a list of banned words is supposed to be published next week and kept up to date continuously. But many organisations are worried, and Twitter has still not been able to give any definite answers about what impact the new policy will have.

Tool of the week: Glyphy

Are you always struggling to find the right characters and symbols when you need them? Glyphy is a nifty little online tool that allows you to easily copy special characters and symbols (also known as glyphs) to your clipboard. From there you can then paste them to any document or app you want.

Even though I know of the control + command + shift shortcode, I sometimes find it hard to find the right symbol. So, since it much better structured, Glyph often comes in handy.

Last Week Online

Anna Loverus Twitter

Thinker and doer. Loves running, wine, and human behaviour.

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