The hugely popular chain of cafés currently offers unrestricted free internet in its stores, but from next year, it is set to ban explicit imagery following pressure from an anti-pornography activist group.
Business Insider has reported that the coffee house committed to barring viewing porn in its stores after it was slammed by Donna Rice Hughes, the CEO of nonprofit Enough is Enough.
Donna said in a statement: "[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."
And a CitizenGo petition was also set up to make Starbucks "filter pornography and child sex abuse images", which amassed 30,000 signatures.
The petition stated: Apparently, Starbucks cares more about providing paper straws to protect the environment than protecting kids and patrons on its public WiFi! Starbucks broke its promise to filter pornography and child sex abuse images, despite its public announcement it would voluntarily provide safe WiFi in its restaurants nationwide ... an announcement more than 2 and-a-half years ago!"
Meanwhile, a Starbucks spokesperson claimed in 2016 that a filter would be implemented to stop access to "illegal or egregious content".
They said at the time: "Once we determine that our customers can access our free Wi-Fi in a way that also doesn't involuntarily block unintended content, we will implement this in our stores. In the meantime, we reserve the right to stop any behaviour that interferes with our customer experience, including what is accessed on our free Wi-Fi."