How do Catalina security warnings work?

Not being on the beta myself, I’m a little confused on how the new Catalina security warnings work in practise.

I would have assumed that they work like iOS warnings, ie you get asked the first time the app tries do something that needs permission, and then that’s it until/unless something changes eg an os/software update, or you denied permission to something that you subsequently want to do.

However, from reading a few comment pieces, and listening to a few podcasts where commentators have said that they’ve been “inundated” with pop ups, it implies that actually you are being asked for permission every time an app tries to do something.

Can anyone clarify when and how often the security warnings as showing?


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It’s every time an app tries to do something for the first time, like access the Downloads or Desktop folders.

Once you give that app permission, you should be OK for that app.

The issue is that you can get “inundated” with multiple requests for Desktop access all day if you are using multiple apps.

It’s annoying, and there really ought to be a way to say “Let any app use the Desktop and Downloads folder.”

(The folders that macOS should be watching/warning about are the launchd folders. Get BlockBlock for that.)

Shoe is about to be on the other foot now.