Google Wallet has been the subject of the latest round of security paranoia, but Google has come forward to say there is nothing wrong with the product and anyone who is at risk of losing sensitive Google Wallet data is someone who made a specific decision to lower their entire phone’s security, and it is their problem. The search giant is trying to prove that Google Wallet is safe, and this round of bad publicity should not be taken out of proportion.
So here’s the thing – your Google Wallet PIN is at risk of being pilfered. Of course, for that to happen, you need two things. First, you need to actually have an active Google Wallet function on your phone, which limits the subset to only those with a Citi credit card, an NFC-enabled phone, Sprint as their mobile carrier, and enough initiative to apply for Google Wallet. That narrows down the field enough to make it a very small concern, but even among that group, only people who have rooted their phone are at risk.
“Google Wallet is protected by a PIN — as well as the phone’s lock screen, if a user sets that option. But sometimes users choose to disable important security mechanisms in order to gain system-level “root” access to their phone; we strongly discourage doing so if you plan to use Google Wallet because the product is not supported on rooted phones,” said Google in an e-mail to Forbes. The search giant stands by its product. It noted, You can be confident that the digital wallet you carry provides defenses that plastic and leather simply don’t.”