Since its introduction the Automatic Identification System (AIS) has played an important part in improving safety at sea, making bridge watchkeeping duties more comfortable and enhancing vessel traffic management ashore. However the analysis of a AIS data set describing the vessel traffic of the Baltic Sea came to conclusion, that specific parameters with relevance to navigation seemed to be defective or implausible. Essentially, it concerned the true heading (THDG) and the rate of turn (ROT) parameters. With the paper we are trying to clarify, which parameters of the AIS position report and to what extent, are affected. The detailed data analysis gives answers on how reliable the AIS data in different traffic areas is.