Apple says that the data to be shared will be aggregate and anonymized, and is aimed at giving Goldman Sachs more clarity when assigning credit to customers. Users can opt out of the expanded data sharing, but Apple says it is also working on an option to let users opt to share more personal information in the event that they are not at first approved for an Apple Card.
Apple officially launched its own credit card in the US last summer, and it’s a unique take on the credit card concept in several ways. While a physical version of the card is available, it’s primarily intended to be used as a virtual card stored on the user’s iPhone, and secured by those devices’ biometric authentication options. The card app offers graphical illustrations of users’ financial and spending information, and the service does not entail any fees while also offering cash back on purchases.
Apple’s efforts to share more user data with Goldman Sachs may in part be a response to criticism levelled at the service last autumn over alleged disparities between the credit assigned to men and women, after a prominent software developer publicized the fact that he was a assigned a credit line 20 times higher than that given to his spouse, who had better credit than he did. If Apple’s move is meant to address the issue, the company made no mention of it in announcing the change.
In any case, as TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino notes, while Apple is planning to share more user data with Goldman Sachs, it’s still going to be sharing much less customer information than is usually sent to financial services providers in co-branded card arrangements, with Apple retaining an unusual amount of control over its user data.