This article was reported and written in collaboration with The Markup, a nonprofit newsroom investigating technology’s effects on society.
Burglary and domestic assault in Minnesota. Selling meth and jumping bail in Kentucky. Driving without insurance in Arkansas. Disorderly conduct. Theft. Lying to a police officer. Unspecified “crimes.” Too many narcotics charges to count.
That’s what the landlord for an apartment in St. Helens, Ore., saw when he ran a background check for Samantha Johnson, a prospective tenant, in 2018.
The automated background check for Ms. Johnson cast a wide net, looking for negative information from criminal databases even in