In the continuing mild drama that is Google Wallet‘s security, there’s a new wrinkle to report. The latest update is specifically for the HTC EVO 4G LTE (which won’t be released any time soon – thanks, Apple!) and a small bug fix. But why is the application suddenly asking for root access? Rooted users found that when they restarted the app after the update it asked Superuser for root permissions.
There doesn’t seem to be anything that the app itself is actually doing with these permissions, whether or not you choose to grant them. Wallet has been aware of rooted phones for months, ever since a fairly alarming method of stealing a rooted user’s data and funds was found. The app displays a warning to rooted users, but that doesn’t seem to have changed.
Some have put forth the idea that the permission request is simply a byproduct of the app detecting the rooted state of the phone itself. It’s also possible that an update in the Superuser app (which allows rooted users to selectively grant permissions to different apps) is to blame, since not everyone is experiencing the issue. Google has not issued a statement on the reasoning, but Wallet seems to be functioning just fine.