I've been wondering about something – zip files already contain CRC based checksums for each the stored file. What benefit is there in storing a RECORD file which basically duplicates this functionality?
In terms of providing a foundation for security checks, I think CRC checksums are insufficient - they are meant to detect random data corruption, not a deliberate effort to make a malicious file.
You could simply use a cryptographic hash of the entire wheel zip file. I guess the advantage of storing file hashes in RECORD is that they can be checked against the installed code, not just the wheel package.