The Altruist Database serves as a beacon as part of the Global Alliance for Genomics & Health’s Beacon Project. Any time the Beacon Network is searched, the Altruist Database is one of the beacons that is queried.
The Global Alliance’s website states that:
The Beacon project is a project to test the willingness of international sites to share genetic data in the simplest of all technical contexts. The service is designed merely to accept a query of the form “Do you have any genomes with an ‘A’ at position 100,735 on chromosome 3” (or similar data) and responds with one of “Yes” or “No.” A site offering this service is called a “beacon”. This open web service is designed to be technically simple, easy to implement, and to not return privacy violating information.