Re: In the UK Credit reference agencies have special privleges
Yeah, but if you sign up to the mailing preference service you'll be flagged as such on their database and then your details won't be included when they sell a mailing list. You'd be surpised how strictly the data sharing is policed even between individual departments at Experian (I used to work there). Even different banks get different credit reports depending on what data they are allowed to see.
You already have the ability to correct/annotate your data (via a notice of correction), it's just that most people don't use it. You can also get your report for the princely sum of £2 (which is way below what it costs to process - given the number of anti-fraud checks needed before sending out such a report). This report also includes details of who has looked at your data, when they looked and why (with the exception of enquiries by the police for obvious reasons). I can see a good case for making this service free, but you can bet that the agencies would make it much harder to access this service if this were the case. Also, all of the credit reference data on UK people is held in the UK and can't be transferred abroad due to the data protection laws we have in this country. Getting the status of a credit reference agency in this country is hard and it can easily be taken away.
Google on the other hand has no such restrictions/obligations. If you think that they are the same then you are wrong.