Apple has announced iPhones are impossible to decrypt.
The comments were made in a briefing filed on Monday to a US judge who requested Apple's assistance in a case.
The assistance required from Apple involved helping prosecutors access a seized iPhone. However according to Apple 90% of its devices running iOS 8 or higher cannot be unlocked.
Apple has resisted unlocking the phone in question for the authorities.
In its briefing the company said: "Forcing Apple to extract data in this case, absent of? clear legal authority to do so, could threaten the trust between Apple and its customers and substantially tarnish the Apple brand."
In order to decrypt the data on newer devices the decryption key - known only to the users - would have to be entered.
Apple Chief Executive, Tim Cook, said the company does not allow intelligence agencies to access data via "backdoors" in its software.
He said: "We think encryption is a must in today's world.
"No-one should have to decide privacy or security. We should be smart enough to do both."
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