Coalition Letter to Senator Chuck Schumer on the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act

March 20, 2024

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer 

322 Hart Senate Office Building 

Washington, D.C. 20510


Dear Senator Schumer: 

We, the undersigned parents and advocates, urge you to bring the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act to the Senate floor for a vote. This is a vital bill to protect Americans from hostile foreign actors, namely the People’s Republic of China. It received unanimous, bipartisan support in the House Energy and Commerce Committee before passing the House of Representatives with 352 votes. 

The threat TikTok poses to American national security is clear. This bill will ensure that ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, divests from the application within the next six months. As Americans, we take for granted the freedoms we have in the United States—including free enterprise. Chinese companies, like ByteDance, are subject to Chinese laws that require them to assist in the PRC’s data collection efforts. At any moment, the Chinese government can force ByteDance to turn over data on 170 million American TikTok users. TikTok has confirmed that sensitive data about some American users is stored in China, and ByteDance employees in China have accessed “nonpublic” user data. 

Despite the well-documented national security risks, American K-12 schools have asked children to use TikTok as part of classroom lessons and assignments on a regular basis; our sister organization, Parents Defending Education, has documented several such cases. Parents Defending Education also recently released a report covering states and school districts with contracts. Like TikTok,’s parent company, Primavera Capital Group, is based in China and is thereby subjected to Chinese data collection efforts. 

More than two-thirds of American parents said they were aware of the Chinese government’s access to user data, Parents Defending Education found in a 2022 survey

Parents have two major concerns about TikTok: first and foremost, student data security is at risk. We know that, on average, two American school districts are hacked every day. Our schools are failing to secure student data from both foreign and domestic threats. 

Second, the Chinese government’s attempts to infiltrate American institutions—including our K-12 schools—is well-documented. More than 140 school districts across the United States have fostered ties with the Chinese government and affiliated entities. People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping announced in November that he plans to invite 50,000 American students on all-expense-paid trips to China. 

The CCP has no interest in advancing the best interests of American children. They are using TikTok and other data harvesting tactics to brainwash the next generation of students across the U.S. The Chinese Communist Party wants to mold a generation of American leaders amenable to its political agenda. 

In addition to data security concerns, TikTok pushes troubling content to the American public. TikTok’s failure to establish guardrails on the app have led children to steal from schools and participate in deadly trending challenges, such as the “blackout challenge” or the “Tide Pod challenge.” After the October 7 attacks on Israel—the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust—videos supporting and popularizing Osama Bin Laden’s Letter to America were widely circulated on the application. 

The versions of Tiktok accessible in the United States and China are unrecognizable. While American children are exposed to deadly challenges and terrorist manifestos, Chinese children receive educational content about at-home science experiments, museum exhibits, and pro-Chinese government propaganda.  

The Chinese government—notably, not ByteDance—stated that they will refuse the sale of TikTok. This should tell you everything you need to know. You’ve rightly and repeatedly stated your concerns with TikTok before. Now, you have the opportunity to protect the American public from Chinese government spyware. 

We urge you to follow through on your word, when you said that “[a] U.S. company should buy TikTok so everyone can keep using it and your data is safe.”  We hope you will bring the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act up for a vote. 


Respectfully submitted, 

Parents Defending Education Action 

American Parents Coalition Action

Max Eden, Research Fellow, American Enterprise Institute

Amber Schwartz, President, Independent Women’s Voice

David Randall, Executive Director, Civics Alliance

Peter W. Wood, President, National Association of Scholars

The Vandenberg Coalition


Download a PDF of the letter here.