Michael H. Rubin is a partner in the San Francisco office of Latham & Watkins and is a member of the Litigation & Trial Department and Information Law, Data Privacy & Cybersecurity Practice.
Mr. Rubin’s practice focuses on defense of complex privacy and internet class action litigation and regulatory investigations on behalf of emerging and established companies, as well as providing strategic counsel.
Mr. Rubin has particular specialty in privacy and data protection and as a crisis management advisor. He has substantial experience in complex multidistrict and class action litigation. He handles regulatory investigations and inquiries from regulators including by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and State Attorneys General. On an international level, he manages cross-border investigations from the US with local teams on the ground on behalf of multinational corporations. As a strategic advisor, he assists a broader set of clients ranging from the initial stage startups to Fortune 100 companies, where he provides business model advice and pruning, product counseling, and compliance advice.
Mr. Rubin has longstanding expertise advising on privacy, security, and internet issues, with particular emphasis on the following: international compliance; ECPA and wiretap issues; compliance with FTC requirements; security incidents; forensic investigations; remediation of security issues; government requests for information; COPPA; mobile; behavioral advertising; electronic marketing concerns; and social media. He has provided advice to companies in a diverse set of industries, including: technology; social media; financial services; health; retail; data brokers; online businesses; hospitality; utilities; and insurance.
Mr. Rubin was recognized as one of the Daily Journal's “Top 20 Lawyers Under 40” in California for 2014, and as a “Rising Star” in privacy law by Law360 in the two prior years. In addition, he was named in the 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 editions of Northern California Super Lawyers and was selected for inclusion on Northern California Super Lawyers' list of “Rising Stars” in 2011.
Mr. Rubin’s litigation experience includes representing:
- White v. LG Electronics, Inc. Lead counsel for LG Electronics (LGE) in this putative class action that alleges LGE's SmartTVs operate in ways that violate the federal Video Privacy Protection Act and various state laws. Plaintiffs make the same allegations against Samsung and Sony.
- Henson v. Turn Inc. (US District Court for the Northern District of California) and Kay v. Turn Inc. (Superior Court of California for the County of Los Angeles). Lead counsel for Turn in these putative class action lawsuits in federal and state court, which allege that Turn, a provider of an online advertising technology platform, and Verizon, one of Turn's data partners, used "super cookies" in violation of state privacy and consumer protection laws, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and the Video Privacy Protection Act.
- In re: Google Inc. Street View Electronic Communications Litigation. Lead counsel for Google in this multidistrict litigation against Google, which is comprised of more than a dozen putative class action suits challenging the acquisition of publicly broadcast Wi-Fi data by Google's Street View vehicles from open and unencrypted wireless networks. The lawsuit alleges that Google violated the federal Wiretap Act.*
- Smith v. Facebook et al. Lead counsel for BJC Healthcare in this multi-defendant lawsuit, which alleged that various healthcare organizations improperly disclosed the plaintiffs' information to Facebook in referrer headers. Plaintiffs asserted claims under various federal and state laws.*
- Howard v. DJI Technology, Inc. (E.D. Cal.). Lead counsel for DJI in this putative class action alleging that the camera on DJI Phantom 3 drones failed to record at the resolution that DJI advertised. Plaintiff asserts various state law claims.*
- In re: Google Inc. Cookie Placement Consumer Privacy Litigation. Lead counsel for Google in this complex, multi-defendant, multidistrict litigation, which was made up of more than 20 putative class actions that arose from allegations that Google improperly placed cookies on certain web browsers. Plaintiffs asserted claims arising under the federal Wiretap and Computer Fraud and Abuse Acts, as well as various California state laws. The district court granted Google's motion to dismiss all claims with prejudice, and the Third Circuit remanded two state law claims. The district court approved the parties' settlement of the case, which has been appealed on an objector to the Third Circuit.*
- Foley v. LG Electronics, Inc. Lead counsel for LG Electronics (LGE) in this putative class action, which alleged that various LGE electronic ovens do not operate in compliance with their stated "Sabbath Mode" feature. Plaintiff's claims were dismissed with prejudice.*
- Sives v. DJI Technology, Inc. (M.D. Pa.). Lead counsel for DJI in this putative class action, which alleged that a firmware update to DJI's Phantom 2 drone caused the camera to cease working.*
- In re: Nickelodeon Consumer Privacy Litigation. Lead counsel for Google in this multidistrict litigation, which was comprised of six putative class action lawsuits alleging that Internet users under age 13 who visited three Viacom-owned and operated websites received cookies that enable Viacom and Google to track certain web-based activities. Plaintiffs' claims against Google arose under the federal Wiretap Act and Video Privacy Protection Act, as well as state laws. The court dismissed plaintiffs' claims with prejudice.*
- In re: Google Inc. Android Consumer Privacy Litigation. Lead counsel for Google in this multidistrict litigation, which was made up of eight putative class action lawsuits and involved claims that Google's Android operating system or apps downloaded to Android devices mishandled user information, including information about users' locations. After a series of motions to dismiss, plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their claims with prejudice.*
- Viacom v. YouTube and English Premier League v. YouTube. Counsel to YouTube in these consolidated copyright infringement actions, which challenged YouTube's operations. In addition to securing multiple summary judgments for YouTube, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati secured orders barring the recovery of punitive damages in copyright infringement actions, requiring that foreign plaintiffs register their copyrights in order to seek statutory damages under the Copyright Act, and denying the motion for class certification in the Premier League action. The firm also secured orders protecting Google's source code and users' private videos from disclosure during discovery.*
*Matter handled prior to joining Latham & Watkins