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Why does Chrome need access to Bluetooth?

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Chrome doesn’t need this access, but it wants it for sure or it wouldn’t have asked Apple SDK to grant access to the hardware.


  • Apple started warning people on iOS quite a while back since this access is elevated past what is needed for accessories like headphones to work.

  • Clearly some developers and people intercepting otherwise legitimate traffic have abused this access. Now that privacy warning is added to macOS.

  • This is part of Apple ensuring that developers have to ask us before
    they gather information from devices.

Google does make money selling targeted advertisements, so gathering this can enhance their services. You could have specific needs for Chrome to access bluetooth drivers directly, but since there are privacy implications granting Bluetooth access to any application Apple went to lengths to alert you before that happens.

Some apps try to do local device discovery for chromecast or other local devices to collaborate with rather than using AirPlay API to locate remote screens and speakers.

Do some research if you’re not comfortable with yielding such localized information as 100 % of the Bluetooth beacons/devices/products in range of your computer to apps. This sort of collection is one very lucrative part of the industrial advertising complex to generate and sell location-specific data. Yes, most responsible companies then try to anonymize the data, but if you don’t collect it, it can’t be leaked or abused. Not all apps are designed to collect and sell this private data, but some are.

To reiterate, you don’t ever need to grant this for mouse, audio, microphone access since apps can use proper API for those functions. This prompt grants full access to the entire Bluetooth stack to use Bluetooth radio data and scan your paired devices and location traffic.

I say no to these until it’s clear I need it for a specific task.

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