Starbucks says it’ll block porn on its public Wi-Fi next year

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For years, Starbucks has caught flak for not preventing its customers from watching porn on its in-store Wi-Fi. Now the coffee retailer says that next year it will introduce a filter that prevents customers from viewing porn and other explicit material in stores.

Starbucks said to Business Insider, “We have identified a solution to prevent this content from being viewed within our stores and we will begin introducing it to our US locations in 2019.” While there aren’t details on what the content filter is, Starbucks did say it had tested multiple methods. We’ve reached out to Starbucks for further details.

As spotted by BI, an internet safety organization called Enough Is Enough has been pressuring Starbucks and other franchises with in-store internet access to put up content filters for years. Back in 2016, McDonald’s, which was one of the franchises being pressured, began to block porn on its public Wi-Fi networks. This put the onus on Starbucks to do the same. At the time, Starbucks said it would implement filters if it found a content blocker that wouldn’t block unintended sites as well. It had yet to find one.

This week, Enough Is Enough CEO Donna Rice Hughes said Starbucks had failed to protect its customers and follow through with its plan to block explicit content. “By breaking its commitment, Starbucks is keeping the doors wide open for convicted sex offenders and others to fly under the radar from law enforcement and use free, public Wi-Fi services to access illegal child porn and hard-core pornography,” she said.

A petition from Enough Is Enough said that public Wi-Fi networks “are attracting pedophiles and sex offenders” and put children at risk.