CyanogenMod — one of the most popular alternative Android ROMs around — will no longer ship with root access enabled by default. Root access is required for many apps that are used by the developer community, but it also poses some security concerns (like the recent Google Wallet hole) and it is mostly useful for advanced users only. For a long time third-party ROMs were used solely by advanced users, too, but now that CyanogenMod has over one million unique downloads, it's clear that there are plenty of users who aren't familiar with root and the dangers it poses.
Android enthusiasts needn't fear, however: while root access will no longer be enabled by default on CyanogenMod 9 and future versions of the ROM, it will still be available as an option. Users will be able to choose between disabled, enabled for ADB, enabled for apps, and enabled for both, and it sounds like it will be painless enough to switch between the options from within the Developer Options menu.