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PeskyMonkey/iStock(NEW YORK) -- A string of viral tweets blasting Apple's new credit card for alleged gender discrimination has led to an investigation from New York's Department of Financial Services.

The tech giant's credit card, launched in partnership with Goldman Sachs earlier this year, uses an algorithm to assign credit limits, and many online pointed out it may favor men over women. Goldman Sachs has issued a new statement on the matter.

"We have not and never will make decisions based on factors like gender. In fact, we do not know your gender or marital status during the Apple Card application process," the statement reads. "Some of our customers have told us they received lower credit lines than they expected. In many cases, this is because their existing credit cards are supplemental cards under their spouse’s primary account -- which may result in the applicant having limited personal credit history. Apple Card’s credit decision process is not aware of your marital status at the time of the application."

In addiiton, "if you believe that your credit line does not adequately reflect your creditworthiness because you may be in a similar situation, we want to hear from you. Based on additional information that we may request, we will re-evaluate your credit line," Goldman Sachs stated.

David Heinemeier Hansson, a Danish software engineer, voiced his frustration late last week after he received a credit limit from the Apple card that was 20 times higher than his wife's, even though they "filed joint tax returns, live in a community-property state, and have been married for a long time," he wrote on Twitter.

In a series of tweets that quickly went viral, Hansson wrote that his wife's credit score was higher than his and that Apple Card's customer support blamed their algorithm.

"We simply were told, 'This is just how it is and you just have to accept that,'" he told ABC News' Good Morning America.

Scores of people on Twitter responded to Hansson's tweets saying the same thing happened to them -- including Apple's co-founder Steve Wozniak.

Wozniak responded to one of Hansson's tweets, writing, "The same thing happened to us," and went on to say that he and his wife have "no separate bank accounts or credit cards or assets of any kind," yet he was given a 10-times higher credit limit on his Apple Card compared to his wife.

A Goldman Sachs spokesperson responded to the allegations in a statement saying, "As with any other individual credit card, your application is evaluated independently."

"We look at an individual’s income and an individuals creditworthiness, which includes factors like personal credit scores, how much debt you have, and how that debt has been managed. Based on these factors, it is possible for two family members to receive significantly different credit decisions," the statement added. "In all cases, we have not and will not make decisions based on factors like gender."

Apple did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment and has yet to publicly respond to the claims of gender discrimination.

Linda Lacewell, the superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), confirmed the investigation as a result of the viral tweet in a Medium blogpost.

"On Saturday morning, I read a Twitter thread from an Apple Card user — tech entrepreneur David Heinemeier Hansson — detailing how his card’s credit limit was considerably higher — twenty times — than that of his wife, despite his wife having a higher credit score," Lacewell wrote. "I responded, announcing that the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) would examine whether the algorithm used to make these credit limit decisions violates state laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex."

Lacewell added that the "black box" problem is an issue here "in which consumers have little visibility into how a decision is made or why they have been rejected."

She called on any consumers who feel they may have been mistreated or discriminated against to share their stories with the New York DFS.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: JTP
Posted: November 11, 2019, 11:04 pm

Jorge Villalba/iStock(COCOA BEACH, Fla.) -- SpaceX launched 60 more satellites Monday as part of CEO Elon Musk's "Starlink" mission to bring high-speed internet to large, remote swaths of the world.

"Enabled by a constellation of low Earth orbit satellites, Starlink will provide fast, reliable internet to populations with little or no connectivity, including those in rural communities and places where existing services are too expensive or unreliable," SpaceX said in a statement announcing the launch.

The launch began at 9:56 a.m. ET on Monday at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and was livestreamed on SpaceX's website. The satellites launched from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

Approximately an hour after liftoff, SpaceX confirmed that all 60 Starlink satellites successfully deployed.

Successful deployment of 60 Starlink satellites confirmed! pic.twitter.com/bpBqO9oYR3

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 11, 2019

Monday's satellite launch is the "heaviest payload to date, first re-flight of a fairing, and first Falcon 9 to fly a fourth mission," the company said in a tweet prior to the launch.

Starlink vertical on the pad pic.twitter.com/WuiB1piKcK

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 11, 2019

The Starlink mission aims to provide internet in the northern U.S. and Canada in 2020 and expand to "near global coverage of the populated world by 2021," according to SpaceX's website.   

Sending this tweet through space via Starlink satellite 🛰

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 22, 2019

Shortly after the May launch, the American Astronomical Society issued a statement of concern over "the impending deployment of very large constellations of satellites into Earth orbit."

"The number of such satellites is projected to grow into the tens of thousands over the next several years, creating the potential for substantial adverse impacts to ground- and space-based astronomy. These impacts could include significant disruption of optical and near-infrared observations by direct detection of satellites in reflected and emitted light; contamination of radio astronomical observations by electromagnetic radiation in satellite communication bands; and collision with space-based observatories," the statement said.

Any thoughts on starlink satellites causing space debris and lighting polluting the sky according to what some people are saying?

— Varun Ramesh 🌍 (@varunversion1) May 27, 2019

Musk has responded to the claims on Twitter, saying, "Starlink won’t be seen by anyone unless looking very carefully & will have ~0% impact on advancements in astronomy."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: CJC
Posted: November 11, 2019, 4:38 pm

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