SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Apple has tightened its technological security so not even the company can pry into a password-protected iPhone or iPad in a move meant to reassure the millions of people who are increasingly storing vital pieces of their lives on the devices.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

The additional safeguard is part of Apple's latest mobile software, iOS 8, which the Cupertino, California, company released Wednesday. Apple Inc. revealed the stronger protection in a new section of its website that is prefaced with a letter from CEO Tim Cook emphasizing the company's "fundamental" commitment to privacy and security.

The company's inability to unlock password-protected smartphones and tablets could frustrate law enforcement officials who sometimes obtain court orders to vacuum personal data off the phones for potential evidence in criminal investigations.

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