FACEBOOK’S privacy policies have come under the microscope after an MSP revealed she was bombarded with adverts for the item she discussed during a private telephone conversation.

Joan McAlpine, SNP MSP for the South of Scotland, revealed the “bizarre” case on her private Facebook page, describing how she and her partner, the poet Stuart Paterson, were talking about kettles.

She wrote: “Today Stuart and me had a brief and rather boring domestic exchange in the kitchen about how the kettle was knackered and we needed a new one.

“I said we should invest in a decent one, he said it didn’t matter how much you spent, they wore out the same. So far, so tedious.

“Tonight an advertisement for John Lewis domestic appliances popped up on my Facebook news feed. About 50% of the items shown were kettles. Very expensive kettles.

“Neither of us has searched for kettles online, nor mentioned them in a post or message (till now).

“Mark Zuckerberg was asked whether Facebook eavesdropped on conversations went he testified to the US Congress last year and he dismissed this as a conspiracy theory,” she added, before asking: “So am I getting paranoid about a bizarre coincidence?”

Social media user Jane MacDonald was one of many who said it was no coincidence. She commented: “We noticed this just over a year ago Joan. We have kept an eye on it since then and are in no doubt about them “spying” on us.”

Laura Fugaccia explained: “The minute you agree to the terms and conditions which your mobile devices which often include access to the microphone, companies are picking up on what you say, linking across accounts and targeting the adverts you see.”

McAlpine told The National: “It was just so bizarre.

“You can see from the comments on my Facebook page that other people have experienced this.”

The National asked Facebook for comment, but received none.