When this pattern is done unintentionally, it's a "privilege escalation bug," which is a major security concern. This design pattern will at least raise red flags with the security review team if this pattern is used in a package, and will also be flagged by the Cloud Security scanner. It's usually better to configure the system to allow users to do things with normal permissions.
However, sometimes you need to do this, to allow things to be done that the user can't normally do. For example, maybe you need to allow users to merge contacts, but not outright delete contacts. By removing the Delete Contact permission, you can still give them controlled access to merge contacts by getting around the security model. When done intentionally, I'd want to call this an elevated privileges pattern, which suggests that you're intentionally elevating their privileges just for a single transaction.