Tenant screening software faces national reckoning

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In November 2018, Marco Antonio Fernandez, returned home after a yearlong Navy deployment in South Korea and searched for an apartment near his next posting in Fort Meade, Maryland.

Fernandez, whose national security work had already earned him a top-secret clearance, had little to worry about when he was asked to undergo a tenant screening — a process involving credit, criminal records and eviction checks. But the screening’s algorithm-based software rejected him for an apartment: It found he had a drug conviction and three misdemeanors for petty theft. That’s because…


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