Welcome to the 242st episode of the Inc. Uncensored podcast, hosted by Inc.'s editor in chief, James Ledbetter.

First, reporter Cameron Albert-Deitch talks about Google's controversial "field research" program, which offered subjects in U.S. cities a $5 gift card in exchange for a scan of their face. The tech behemoth temporarily suspended the program last week after an Oct. 2 story from The New York Daily News reported that a staffing firm hired by Google to conduct the scans targeted black people. An unnamed former worker of the staffing firm told the publication that in Atlanta, contractors sought out homeless people because they were less likely to speak to the media. 

Next, I delve into Phoenix's thriving startup ecosystem amid the Inc. 5000 conference and gala that is now taking place in the city through October 12. Phoenix supports a lower cost of living compared to coastal hubs like New York City and San Francisco and offers founders a tight-knit community of like-minded business owners. What's more, there's an improving talent pipeline from Arizona State University, which has been ranked the most innovative school of the year, each year since 2016 by U.S. News and World Report

Lastly, Ledbetter discusses his upcoming on-stage interview with Jen Rubio, the co-founder of Away suitcases, and past Inc. Rising Star. Rubio and Steph Korey launched the company in 2015 and reached a $1.4 billion valuation this year after raising $100 million, led by Wellington Capital Management. 

Check out the full episode in the player below, in iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts.