Employers could be kept in the dark about the criminal records of some job applicants under a review of rules by the home secretary.
Sajid Javid said the government needs to "look again" at how much is revealed about people who have committed certain crimes when they apply for jobs.
Currently anyone with more than one conviction automatically has details shared with potential employers, no matter how much time has passed.
But the Home Office has held discussions with the Ministry of Justice about a potential change after a Supreme Court ruling in favour of three people who said the rules had negatively impacted their lives.
Mr Javid said: "One thing I am looking at, to give you one example, is the disclosure service, youth criminality disclosure, and whether we can look again at the approach that is sometimes taken there.
"So for example if a young person today has committed two offences, no matter what they are, so could be twice they shoplifted when they were 11 and 12 or something, that record can linger for years and years when they are an adult.
"They may find they are never getting a proper chance to turn around, I think we need to be sensible and look again at issues like this."
He shared details of the rethink after a speech in east London in which he said he "could have actually turned out to have a life of crime" as a youngster.
In January, the Supreme Court rejected a government appeal against a human rights ruling won by individuals who said their lives were unfairly haunted by past minor convictions.
The judges found the scheme was "disproportionate" after the home and justice secretaries challenged a Court of Appeal judgement in 2017 over the legality of the scheme.