It seems as if people were going to Starbucks for more than just a “wake-me-up” cup of joe.
After undergoing some serious criticism, the coffee house is making some major changes to the way people use their free Wi-Fi. Starting in 2019, Starbucks will implement stricter regulations that prevent customers from viewing explicit imagery while in their store. The plan comes after anti-pornography activist groups slammed the company for falling short of an old promise.
Donna Rice Hughes, the CEO of nonprofit Enough is Enough, said 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.” Starbucks clapped back at the allegations, calling them false accusations.
The company expressed the difficulties of finding a method that would work to block illegal or egregious content, while still allowing customers to view material considered appropriate.
Until that moment, Starbucks will remain under close surveillance. There’s already a CitizenGo petition with nearly 30,000 signatures, as of Wednesday, asking for the coffee giant to make faster changes. The petition states that, “Apparently, Starbucks cares more about providing paper straws to protect the environment than protecting kids and patrons on its public WiFi!”
Time will tell.