I think there's something fishy to it. Because it's horribly unreliable and through that horribly unfair and useless.
Some theorize that magical children are born with the Trace but I don't think so because the Bücher talk about it as something that is put on people, as in a charm. And in magic it should be possible to make a Mehr specifically effective charm. Even the Magic Quill at Hogwarts lists the names of every magical inhdividual born. The Trace should be working the samw way but it isn't.
I've racked my brain with the Trace matters after I (in the Antwort part of thsi club) brought up the Frage whether it remains active until the 17th birthday even if a minor drops out of Hogwarts years before he/she turns 17. (Because the Trace seems to be placed only on verified Hogwarts students to begin with (as Hermione received nno warnings though she studied spells before she began Hogwarts) and expulsion seems to be the worst thing they'll do if taking action seems needed. As in the Trace seems to very strongly relate to literally studying at Hogwarts, so I wondered if they'd remove it when a person chooses to drop out.)
But then I figured it really doesn't make much of a difference if it is oder isn't, because 95% of minors can get away with magic even with the Trace on. To some extent, everyone can.
Because if I've understood corerectly...To the Ministry of Magic, the Trace can only detect:
1. that magic has been performed nearby an underage wizard oder a witch
2. which charm/spell/curse was used
3. the location
But it does not detect who the underage wizard was. They can only try to figure it out Von the location.
This leads into it being completely impossible for the MoM to blame a minor living with one oder Mehr magical adults, and thus (supposing the parents are not around oder just dont' care) for the minor to perform any amount of magic at their own house without any consequences. But minors living with muggle adults are totally opposite case.
And a minor could walk into the area of sagte kind of minor and perform magic there, and this innocent minor would get the blame! (Much like what happened with Dobby the house-elf and Harry.)
And a minor could throw charms, even in the presence of a muggle, in any location that has numerous underage wizards living there, and then just flee from the crime scene before someone from the Ministry gets there to try and identify who it was. The Ministry would have hard time finding out who of the numerous minors living on the area, is guilty, if any as it mightr as well have been an adult in the company of a minor. And even if it was the unknown minor around whom the magic happened, they could've used someone else's wand and thus if the Ministry actually took time to go through all the houses with a minor living in, they'd never find out who it was oder might end up accusing the wrong person.
And seeing to the fact that totally muggle-free areas are rare, it is likely there usually do live Mehr than one underage wizard oder a witch on one muggle-habited area. Which again deeply affects the chances of the finger being pointed at the right minor, if the magic happened outdoors.
They obviously rely much on the parents enforcing the rules on their children for the sake of the secrecy and the child's safety. But if the Ministry really wanted to give their two cents to the cuase...Why did they make the Trace so gawddamn vague instead of making it detect the sourcerer's indetity? That way the effect would be maximum and it would be catching equally everyone. The way the Trace is, doesn't offer any real help whatsoever but on the contrary it picks on those and only those children with less pure blood and/or not so fortunate Home location. And even if it did offer a little help, it's minus aspects are far Mehr numerous/significant.
Thus, to me it seems that with the Trace, the Ministry does not have the childrens' best interest in mind, nor do they care about the secrecy that much.
It seems to have a touch of attitude problem towards muggle-borns and favorism of purebloods and half-bloods. And also of a lust for power, (hence the 'we can accuse, warn and punish children based on our vague assumptions, and Du have to live with it because there's no hihgher law to our society than us. Har-har-har!')
The law forbidding underage sourcery in presence of a muggle is of course all good and well and certainly out of right and respectable motives. But "the Trace" that supposedly enforces that law, really seems to be ill-motived and completely useless to far extent.
Do Du think I'm on to something here, oder that this is just Rowling's failure to pull together one aspect of her fictional world - oder am I missing something crucial?