permission – macOS: tccd often crashes and locks up the system for a minute; how to diagnose?

I am using macOS 10.14.6. After certain actions, such as starting the screensaver and other “innocent” things, the system locks up for about a minute. The mouse pointer can be moved, but nothing else reacts or moves on screen. I just have to wait it out.

Looking at the console, I can see six .crash files for tccd, with timestamps about 10 seconds apart, after each such event. The contents are like this:

Process:               tccd (11633)
Path:                  /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/TCC.framework/Versions/A/Resources/tccd
Identifier:            tccd
Version:               221.260.3


Crashed Thread:        1  Dispatch queue:

Exception Type:        EXC_CRASH (SIGABRT)
Exception Codes:       0x0000000000000000, 0x0000000000000000
Exception Note:        EXC_CORPSE_NOTIFY

Application Specific Information:
dyld3 mode
*** Terminating app due to uncaught exception 'NSInvalidArgumentException', reason: '*** -(NSFileManager fileSystemRepresentationWithPath:): nil or empty path argument'
terminating with uncaught exception of type NSException
abort() called

To trigger the problem, it is sufficient to open the Desktop & Screensaver preferences, which show a preview of the screensaver.

I have now completely disabled the screensaver to try to avoid this problem. But unfortunately, it is sometimes (non-reproducibly) triggered by other actions as well, typically either using dictionary lookup (with “force-click”) or using quicklook in a file-chooser dialog. Of course, it always happens when I’m in a hurry and trying to get work done …

What can I do to find the root cause of the problem, and resolve it?

This problem has persisted for several months now and I had no luck in diagnosing it, other than discovering the relationship to tccd. Upgrading to macOS 10.15 or 11.0 is not an option—I need the 32-bit support.