Why does Etcher need permissions to Camera and Microphone on Mac OS Catalina?


I have checked Etcher application with Taccy Version 1.11 (20) and it tells me about access to the camera and microphone.

App path: /Applications/balenaEtcher.app
app ID: io.balena.etcher
version: 1.5.109
build: 1.5.109
Usage Descriptions:
NSCameraUsageDescription : This app needs access to the camera
NSMicrophoneUsageDescription : This app needs access to the microphone
SDK version: macosx10.15

Could someone clarify why Etcher needs such permissions?

Can you point me to Taccy? I am trying to reproduce the results you got but I am unable to find this said tool

Sure https://eclecticlight.co/2020/08/10/taccy-1-11-is-now-a-universal-app/

Hi there, you can see the requested permissions by Etcher here: https://github.com/balena-io/etcher/blob/75e6f1e39a484838aad99f903c0ade86f027d3d9/entitlements.mac.plist.

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We’ll investigate why the usage description includes something we haven’t requested, but it is definitely not required to have access to the microphone and camera.


So it seems that the “permissions” you saw are not permissions, just messages that should be displayed once we ask for camera or microphone permissions. Since Etcher is not entitled to have access to the camera or microphone, those are unused and are probably set by default by Electron.

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Yes, sorry for my misunderstanding, I have checked another app on Electron and it showed me the same.

No worries, thanks for reporting anyway :slight_smile: