Business Headlines

luchezar/iStock(NEW YORK) -- The number of government requests for user data have climbed to a new record, Facebook said in its biannual transparency report.

Those requests rose 16% during the first half of 2019 to 128,617, Chris Sonderby, the vice president and deputy general counsel for Facebook, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.

It's more than a fivefold increase from the 25,607 government requests in 2013, the first year Facebook published that data.

The U.S. has submitted the most requests so far in 2019, at 50,714, according to Facebook. Those requests asked for data from 82,461 total users/accounts.

Of those requests from the U.S. government, two-thirds included a "non-disclosure order prohibiting Facebook from notifying the user," Sonderby wrote.

Facebook said it produced data for 88% of U.S. government requests, and that a majority of them, 47,457, were under the "legal process" category that includes search warrants, subpoenas and court orders. In 2013, Facebook complied with about 80% of requests.

"As we have said in prior reports, we always scrutinize every government request we receive for account data to make sure it is legally valid," Sonderby wrote. "This is true no matter which government makes the request. If a request appears to be deficient or overly broad, we push back, and will fight in court, if necessary.

"We do not provide governments with 'back doors' to people’s information," he added.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


ermingut/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Fast-food giant McDonald's was hit with a lawsuit this week alleging a "toxic work culture" and "pervasive sexual harassment" of female employees.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, former employee Jenna Ries, 32, shared her story of rampant workplace sexual harassment and threats of retaliation or being fired when she fought back at a McDonald's franchise near Lansing, Michigan.

"I lived in constant fear of losing my job because I didn’t want to be treated like trash, and because I didn’t give in to my harasser’s disgusting behavior," Ries said in a statement. "It drove me to tears and ultimately left me no choice but to take action. I’m speaking out now to make sure what happened to me doesn’t happen to anyone else at McDonald's."

Ries said a swing manager she worked with at the McDonald's franchise would routinely call her a "b****" or "whore" and more, "in front of multiple other co-workers, including the General Manager," according to the complaint.

Moreover, Ries "endured routine physical assaults by the swing manager," the court documents allege. "He frequently grabbed her body parts, including her crotch, breasts and buttocks. He pulled her hair and pushed her into other workers."

On one occasion, the swing manager put his penis in Ries' hand while they were both working in the kitchen, the complaint further alleges.

Ries said that she would respond to the harassment by begging the manager to stop, including telling him to "leave me alone,” and “do not touch me,” according to the complaint. "He responded by yelling at her and threatening to get her fired."

The lawsuit is seeking class-action status and alleges that McDonald's "creates and permits a toxic work culture from the very top," referencing former CEO Steve Easterbrook's firing after engaging in a consensual relationship with an employee. Easterbrook received 26 weeks of severance pay when he was terminated earlier this month.

Even though the alleged conduct took place at a McDonald's franchise restaurant, the lawsuit claims that McDonald's Corporation “maintain national franchise standards to which all of their franchisees are expected and required to adhere, and that affect almost every aspect of the restaurants’ functioning, including practices and policies affecting crew members’ labor conditions.”

The restaurant where the alleged abuse against Ries took place is owned by MLMLM Corporation which could not be reached in repeated attempts by ABC News for comment on Wednesday.

The lawsuit alleges that the "franchise agreement" that McDonald's has with the franchise owner, however, "give the McDonald’s Corporate Defendants unlimited and unrestricted authority to inspect restaurants to monitor workplace conditions, including labor conditions, and to ensure compliance with the standards and policies of the McDonald’s Corporate Defendants."

More than 90% of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent franchisees, according to McDonald's corporate website.

In May 2018, McDonalds workers in nine cities filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging rampant sexual misconduct.

Jamelia Fairley, a McDonald's employee at a corporate-owned store in Florida and a leader in the minimum wage driven Fight for $15 and a union movement within the company, also filed a sexual harassment complaint against the company in May 2019.

Fairley called on the company's new CEO to "sit down with worker-survivors and hear our stories."

“McDonald’s needs to let survivors and our advocates drive the solution," she said in a statement Tuesday. "Nothing is going to change for us, without us.”

Asked to comment on Ries’s lawsuit, McDonald's told ABC News in a statement Wednesday that, "There is a deeply important conversation around safe and respectful workplaces in communities throughout the U.S. and around the world, and McDonald’s is demonstrating its continued commitment to this issue through the implementation of Safe and Respectful Workplace Training in 100% of our corporate-owned restaurants."

"We are encouraged by the partnership and commitment from the National Franchisee Leadership Association and the Women Operators Network that represent franchisees across the U.S. to work with franchisees to implement this important Safe and Respectful workplace training program," the statement added.

In August, the company jointly announced with the National Franchisee Leadership Alliance, a body representing more than 2,000 McDonald's U.S. franchisees, that they were rolling out a slew of new workplace trainings aimed at creating a safe and respectful workplace and said it opened up a free intake hotline for any employment concerns.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


martince2/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Almost 27 million travelers are expected to pass through Transportation Security Administration checkpoints over the Thanksgiving holiday, a 4% increase from 2018, the agency said.

From Nov. 22 through Dec. 2, the projected 26.8 million flyers will include 2.7 million on Nov. 27, the day before Thanksgiving, and 2.8 million on Dec. 1, the following Sunday.

The TSA typically screens about 2.1 million passengers on weekdays.

The record-high number of travelers comes on the heels of "our busiest summer ever," TSA acting Deputy Administrator Patrica Cogswell said in a statement. "To plan for the season, partnerships with industry and stakeholders are critical to keep travelers moving safely and securely to holiday destinations. We want to ensure travelers are as best prepared as they can."

Earlier this year, TSA officers called out in record numbers as the government shutdown entered its fifth week, creating long screening lines at airports across the country.

Travelers also can expect to encounter new TSA technology this holiday season that aims to trim wait times. Computed tomography art scanners will give TSA officers a closer look at what's in a passenger's bags, though they will still have to pull out laptops and cellphones.

But by deploying this new technology, Cogswell added, the TSA is setting the stage "for more items to be able to be left in the bag, and for more people to leave laptops in."

TSA officers in the coming weeks also are expecting to be equipped with new credential-authentication technology that lets them to quickly identify travelers without having to verify passengers by looking at a photo ID under lights or lamps.

"You'll start seeing those show up at our airports in the coming weeks," Cogswell added.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


jetcityimage/iStock(BERLIN) -- Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the location of the company's fourth new Gigafactory: Berlin, Germany.

"We’ve decided to put the Tesla Gigafactory Europe in the Berlin area," Musk said on stage at the Auto Bild’s Golden Steering Wheel Awards in Berlin after accepting an award for his Tesla Model 3.

"Berlin rocks," the CEO added. "I love Berlin!"

🖤♥️💛 GIGA BERLIN 💛♥️🖤

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 12, 2019

Musk confirmed on Twitter Tuesday that the new Gigafactory in Europe would make batteries, powertrains and even electric vehicles, "starting with the Model Y."

The new Gigafactory will be built near the Berlin airport.

"Our European Gigafactory is expected to produce both Model 3 and Model Y," Tesla said in a memo to investors late last month prior to the announcement, adding that production is expected to begin in 2021.

Shortly after making the announcement, Musk told auto industry publication Auto Express that he chose not to put the new production factory in the U.K. because of uncertainty over Brexit.

"Brexit ... made it too risky to put a Gigafactory in the UK," Musk said.

The announcement comes just a few weeks after the automaker announced $143 million in Quarter 3 profits and that its new Gigafactory in Shanghai had been completed ahead of schedule, in just 10 months, and is "ready for production" pending final governmental approvals.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


slobo/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Costco is perfect for buying bulk items at wholesale prices, but some customers were sad to see an even steeper discount that made the rounds on social media ended up being a "SCAM."

The retailer wrote on its official Facebook account that their members should not trust the "recurring hoax" that boasted $75 in savings.

The initial online coupon scam appeared on Facebook as a Costco voucher that promised users $75 for the company's anniversary and led to links that were not affiliated with Costco. The scam spread due to the option to share and comment with others on their own pages, according to fact-checking site Snopes that first called out the false instructions.

Some savvy members chimed in saying that they knew the offer was too good to be true.

"LOL when you have to jump through hoops to get something you know it's not true," one member wrote in the comments of the Costco Facebook post.

Another person even called out the fake coupon for its misuse of basic grammar rules.

"I knew it was a scam, as Costco would not say to celebrate 'it's' anniversary," the customer commented. "Don't they know it's mean it is?!?!"

Another said that giving so many shoppers such a large discount would simply be a poor business strategy.

"Why does anyone beleive [sic] this stuff? Costco is great, but really, giving $75 coupon to all that shares a post would be difficult for any business," Lisa Reick wrote.

Although this deal turned out to be a scam, members do receive exclusive coupon books with additional weekly savings and promotions.

A representative for the warehouse store said, "Costco never sends coupon offers on social media."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Nomatic(NEW YORK) -- Ever have the wheel of your luggage fall off at the airport or the zipper on your suitcase break while on vacation?

It happens to a lot of us, and it is not a great feeling.

Travel and everyday carry company Nomatic is trying to get rid of that feeling with its "lifetime durability" rolling luggage.

But does it hold up?

ABC News went to The Break Bar in New York City to test just how durable Nomatic's rolling luggage is.

After putting on some safety gear, an ABC producer hit the luggage multiple times with a bat and sledgehammer. She also threw it against the wall and dropped it onto its wheels.

After 30 minutes of testing, the bag was still in one piece, with just a few minor scratches and the only mishap being a small click when the handle is pushed down.

Considering the amount of force the producer exerted onto the bag, it seems like it should hold up when it comes to the beating bags take while traveling.

The journey to making a durable bag

Cousins Jon Richards and Jacob Durham started their company, Nomatic, in 2014 when they launched on Kickstarter with a wallet.

Since then, they have raised more than $10 million on eight different projects, the latest being the rolling luggage.

The two sought to create luggage that would hold up against the perils bags can face when traveling.

They tested more than 25 prototypes to get the final product and, according to their company’s website, “each of the luggage pieces are built for lifetime durability with a 100% Makrolon Polycarbonate shell.”

"We designed luggage to solve the pain points as travel because luggage should be strong, packing should be easy and travel should be seamless," Richards and Durham said.

The pair's rolling luggage exceeded their expectations and will be available on Nov. 14.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Taylor Dunn/ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Meet Emma Grede, Khloe Kardashian's business partner and co-founder of Good American, a brand that creates new sizes and fits and had the most successful denim launch in history, earning over $1 million in sales on their launch date.

Good American is recognized for using multiple sized e-commerce models for their photo shoots and creating the size 15 to accommodate more body types. They have expanded from solely selling denim to include dresses, activewear and tops, and will launch their sleepwear line Nov. 14.

"Khloe and I right from the get go said we're going to have a company that's based on a set of principles because we don't want to negotiate every step of the way. You have to do it our way or it's a no go," Grede told ABC News' Rebecca Jarvis on an episode of "No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis" podcast. "It completely cleared out anyone just wanting to be in this for a stamp of body positivity approval."

While Grede continues to break down barriers and make history within the fashion industry, it wasn't until she was in her late teens that she realized she wanted to pursue a career in fashion.

"Fashion has always been something that I had a passion for, I was really drawn to that world but I never saw myself as a creative like in the strictest sense. I thought design and creativity was for someone else," Grede said.

Grede took a job at a fashion show event production company and said she found herself brokering contracts between artists, fashion designers and brands, eventually coming to the realization that not only creatives were needed to work in a creative industry.

"I understood how contracts worked and I was very good at getting stuff off of people and I kind of finally felt like oh I've hit my stride," Grede said. "Even though I wasn't a creative I was very good at working with very creative people and bringing their ideas to life."

She took those talents and started her own entertainment marketing agency, ITB, at a time when brands were beginning to put more of their money into reality TV stars and influencers instead of focusing it all on A-list actors. Grede grew up in East London with no Hollywood connections.

"I think everything I didn't know led me to a place where I had that naiveté," Grede said. "I didn't know what could go wrong and so in a way I just got on with things that right now just would seem scary or stupid."

Her confident and courageous mentality led her into business with Kris Jenner, which is how Grede was connected to Kardashian, and years later after deciding that she was ready to move on from ITB, took her idea to Jenner to explain why she wanted to create Good American and why she wanted Kardashian to be her business partner.

"I decided denim because I really wanted to take a pain product, something that I know women struggle with, and for me it was like what do you really struggle with denim and swimwear," Grede explained.

After meeting with Jenner and being told she needed to talk to Kardashian, Grede recalled not being nervous to pitch the idea because she "thought it was genius."

"I know at the end of day what happened is that Khloe got it," Grede said. "I pitched her that idea and a light bulb went off in her head and she literally finished my sentences and what I understood in that meeting I was like she is the girl. She has felt like this she has experienced it firsthand and I knew in that moment that Khloe was the person that I wanted to work with."

When it comes to co-founding a company, Grede describes the different day to day roles of she and Kardashian, Grede focusing on logistics and warehousing and Kardashian focusing on media and marketing strategies.

"We know what we do and we have the utmost respect for one another and both bring entirely different things to the party so I think that we start from a place of real respect for what each other bring," Grede said.

As the company continues to create a more inclusive experience for consumers, Grede discussed just how far the industry at large still has to go.

"Fashion is still largely dictated to women by men based on their size and that's just ludicrous," Grede said. "There's some real shaking up of the industry that has to be done and plus size women have been on their own having to fight that fight which is ludicrous because sometimes you know you need the outsiders to come in and make everybody realize what's happening."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


svengine/iStock(NEW YORK) -- While you're gearing up for Thanksgiving's excesses, you might not consider catastrophic fire as one of them -- but that's exactly what's at risk, say the experts with the National Fire Protection Association.

The agency notes that an estimated 2,000 residential fires happen each Thanksgiving Day, causing an average of five deaths, 25 injuries and $21 million in property damage.

In fact, Turkey Day is, statistically, the number-one day for kitchen fires and cooking-related insurance claims, report the experts at

The site explains: "A turkey takes forever in the oven. Numerous dishes are being created at once. All four burners and the oven are working overtime. Throw in...a 25-pound bird with searing hot gravy...Combine a large group of people of all ages cooking and eating in a confined space and mix in some wine, and what could go wrong?"

And while frying your Thanksgiving turkey is a delicious way to prepare the bird, if you do it wrong, you could find yourself homeless -- or worse. State Farm Insurance says frying turkeys remains a major cause of Thanksgiving Day fires.

If you insist on deep frying your bird, offers the following safety tips:

1) Fully thaw the turkey. Even a partially frozen bird can create a fire or even an explosion. Before putting it in the fryer, pat the turkey down with paper towel to cut down on splatter.

2) Keep a fire extinguisher handy and make everyone involved aware that you cannot extinguish a grease fire with water. Keep children and pets away.

3) Position your fryer on a level surface at least 15 feet from structures and keep anything flammable out of the immediate frying area.

4) Before lowering in your turkey, turn the burner or flame to the "off" position to prevent igniting the oil. Once it's fully submerged, you can turn the flame back on.

5) Never leave the fryer unattended.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


SKIMS(NEW YORK) -- Since initially launching SKIMS in June, Kim Kardashian West's line of shapewear has continued to gain the attention of many. Now, she is adding two more items to the collection that many people are already gearing up to purchase.

On Monday, it was announced on Instagram that tonal Body Tape and Pasties would be the next addition to the styling solutions label.

Officially launching on Nov. 14, the new items will be available in three different colors to blend with a variety of different skin tones. Each piece is "engineered with stretch to move with you and keep you concealed and supported for up to 12 hours," according to a press release from the brand.

The new body tape roll is waterproof as well as sweat-proof and will retail for $36 per roll. Each roll is 45 feet in length.

The pasties come in a teardrop shape to add lift to the breasts while also concealing. These will sell for $12 per pack of 10 which includes five pairs.

In another Instagram post, the brand posted a video of how to apply the Tonal Body Tape with two steps.

You begin by applying approximately a 16-inch strip of body tape from below the breast to above shoulders on each side. Then, you smooth just beyond the armpits on either side.

Fans of the brand are already anticipating these new launches, and some questioned if these items will cater to women with larger breasts.

"Can we see models with larger bra sizes try this tape? That would be really helpful," @iamjess_elle wrote in a comment.

Another concerned Instagrammer chimed in asking, "are there different widths?"

Many others expressed their excitement for the new pieces.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


naturalboxnaturalbox/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- Dean Foods, America's largest milk producer and home to multiple well-known brands, filed for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday.

The Dallas-based company announced it initiated Chapter 11 proceedings "to enable us to continue serving our customers and operating as normal as we work toward the sale of our business," Eric Beringause, who recently joined the Dean Foods as president and CEO, said in a statement.

Dean Foods products include Dairy Pure, TruMoo, Land O'Lakes, Lehigh Valley Dairy Farms and Oak Farms.

Its bankruptcy filing comes amid a sour year for the milk industry.

Last year, total sales dropped $1.1 billion, according to the Dairy Farmers of America. The net sales for 2018 were $13.6 billion, compared to $14.7 billion in 2017.

However, sales of dairy alternative products have been soaring.

Over a 52-week period that ended in June 2018, oat milk and non-dairy milk blends saw the highest growth, with dollar sales up 23% and 51%, respectively.

Dean Foods announced that it had received around $850 million in debtor-in-possession financing, a type of financing for companies that are financially distressed and in bankruptcy, from some existing lenders.

A potential sale of "substantially all assets" to Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. has been discussed, according to Dean Foods. If both parties reach an agreement, the sale would allow for higher or otherwise better offers in the bankruptcy.

Dean Foods will operate normally amid the reorganization efforts.

The company has approximately 15,000 employees across the country.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


skynesher/iStock(NEW YORK) -- While some stores will lure shoppers in early with serious sales and staff up ahead of Black Friday, other retailers are giving staff a chance to enjoy their Thanksgiving.

In an effort to place an emphasis on the true meaning on the holiday that's typically spent with friends, family and food -- stores have flipped the script ahead of the busy shopping season for consumers and employees alike.

Here is a roundup of the major retailers that will not be open on Turkey Day, according to their site's listed store hours and help desks.

Grocery Stores

    Sam’s Club
    Trader Joe's


    Ann Taylor
    Burlington Coat Factory
    Neiman Marcus
    Stein Mart

Furniture and Home

    Bob’s Discount Furniture
    The Container Store
    Crate & Barrel
    Hobby Lobby
    Pier 1


    Barnes and Noble
    Office Depot

In years past, the following stores have also shut their doors on the holiday, but have yet to confirm their hours for Nov. 28.

Cost Plus World Market
Home Depot
Sur La Table

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Disney (NEW YORK) -- You've likely heard about Disney , the new streaming service from The Walt Disney Company that launches Nov. 12.

Disney is the home for all things Disney, including content from Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and National Geographic.

A subscription costs $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year, and users will be able to download TV shows and movies, so that they can watch them even if they aren't connected to the internet.

"This is a big deal. All Disney in one place never existed before," Disney CEO Bob Iger told ABC News' Good Morning America in April. "That's [like] going to Disneyland every day of the week."

In addition to beloved Disney classics -- everything from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Moana is available -- there will be new movies to watch on launch day, including a live-action Lady and the Tramp and Anna Kendrick's holiday movie, Noelle, about Santa Claus' family.

Disney and Fox TV series, including Goof Troop, Boy Meets World and all 30 seasons of The Simpsons are also available, as well as new, original series that will be making their debut.

Star Wars fans have been eagerly anticipating The Mandalorian, a spinoff set after the fall of the Empire, while Marvel devotees have Marvel's Hero Project to look forward to. (Other Marvel series, including Loki, starring Tom Hiddleston, are forthcoming.) High School Musical: The Musical: The Series will also be available at launch, as will Kristen Bell's Encore, a reality series that reunites casts of high school musicals.

Disney will be adding many new titles in the future, too. While most Pixar films are streaming to start, Coco and Toy Story 4 will be added later, as will 2019 releases Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and The Lion King. One new original series that has made headlines is a sequel of Lizzie McGuire, starring Hilary Duff, which is currently in production. There will also be a TV spinoff of the film Love, Simon set to premiere during the first year of Disney .

For those looking to invest in more than just Disney , there is also a $12.99 monthly bundle option that includes Disney , Hulu and ESPN , and Verizon customers can get a year subscription to the streaming service for free. If that's not enough, Disney is offering several deals to celebrate the launch of Disney : Lyft users can snag a free ride using the promo code “DISNEYPLUS," and if you buy a select bouquet from Urban Stems, Disney will double the flowers.

Disney "is an extension for the company of what it has done for 96 years, which is tell great stories that entertain the world, people of all generations," Iger said. "Because the stories that we tell tend to touch people's hearts, they kind of live forever."

You can preorder the streaming service at

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

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marcnorman/iStock(NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.) -- Carne asada fans rejoice: Chipotle announced on Tuesday that the steak option will continue to be a part of its menu into next year.

The restaurant chain said that the menu item will be available through the end of 2019 and into the first quarter of 2020.

"We're incredibly encouraged by the customer response to Carne Asada and are exploring options to add this as a permanent menu item in the future," Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol said in a press release.

Carne asada was originally introduced to Chipotle's menu as a limited time offer back in September.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Nowaday(NEW YORK) -- A brand-new car service is taking you back in time.

Nowaday and its fleet of vintage cars transports you back to 1920s and 1930s New York City.

The company was co-founded by entrepreneurs Heather Stupi and Jaime Getto, who both love to travel.

"We built Nowaday to uncover and narrate every city’s most fascinating stories," Getto told ABC News' Good Morning America.

Getto said the tours take visitors and locals "on the ultimate exploration of New York’s most iconic landmarks from the back of a refurbished Jazz Age car with a private chauffeur-storyteller."

From the music playing on the radio to the drivers in newsboy caps, you'll feel like you're back in the Jazz Age.

Beginning Nov. 12, the company will offer tours of Midtown New York City in its vintage rides.

Its launch will include 12 sets of wheels, featuring such standouts as a rare 1928 Ford Model A, a 1932 Chrysler Imperial and a 1931 Chevrolet Series AE.

All of the cars are refurbished to meet safety standards and include some more modern amenities, such as air conditioning.

The company is currently only operating in New York City, but plans on launching in more cities soon.

"Our goal is to make Nowaday a global experience company across many different iconic cities around the world," Getto said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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.


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WJTN News Headlines for Nov. 12, 2019

The latest round of early Winter weather reached the Jamestown-area late last night with freezing rain and sleet turning into all snow....   This storm moved in from the west by early afternoo...

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